The Gentle Art of Persuasion

“Powerful men clash and fathers are pitted against sons in this action thriller. Maelstrom is a book you don’t want to miss.”

This tweet really took off yesterday with multiple re-tweets and likes. The e-book for Maelstrom hit the virtual shelves of Amazon on Wednesday and I have been busy getting the word out.

Brit's Birthday - Guenette photo

Of my collection of self-publishing hats, promotion is my least favourite one to don but if any time requires me to cram that hat on my head and get busy it is the week of a new release.

If you follow me across a few social media platforms, you will be gently bombarded with Facebook updates, tweets and blog posts – all related to release of my latest novel. I’ve heard that it takes a minimum of three exposures to a message before people think of acting. Nowhere does it say how many exposures make people want to hire a hit man to take out the sender. Hmmm … hoping I get the message across without irritating too many of you.

3-D cover of Maelstrom 2

Here’s a short excerpt from the opening page of Maelstrom for your value-added enjoyment.

The heat of the past day hung heavily over Suicide Ridge. A rifle shot shattered the still night air. The young woman walking across the gravel pullout took the shot in her back; the bullet smashed through her body, winged out and kissed the air alongside the arm of the man she had been waiting to meet.

The dead weight of her crashed into him and Myhetta fell to his knees. He searched the darkness in the direction of the shot. Blood pumped from the exit wound in the woman’s chest. The headlights of her car, parked against the battered barrier near the drop-off to the river below, blinded him as the sound of gravel crunching underfoot came closer. Polished, brown boots appeared. A rifle casually smacked against a leg. The wide brimmed sheriff’s hat obscured the eyes but the moonlight caught the silver line of a scar as a voice drawled, “You move along now, Breed. No need for you to hang around.”

Myhetta rose and whistled as he drew out the knife tucked at his back. Two timber wolves loped out of the trees and flanked him. Lips pulled back to reveal yellow fangs as the animals snarled.

The sheriff raised the rifle at his side and took aim at the wolf to Myhetta’s right. “Get going or one of your precious pets dies.”

Sheriff Bert Calder did not make idle threats. As Myhetta backed up a step, hate smouldered in his dark eyes. He kept the animals close to his side with a gesture of his hand as he walked away into the trees. His horse was grazing on the scrubgrass that grew under the tall pines. Swinging his body into the saddle, he urged Black along the trail. He wound his way up the switchback and stopped at a point where he could look down to the dirt pullout on the corner of the stretch of road known as Suicide Ridge. His tall form was outlined in the light of the full moon.

The sheriff returned from the police cruiser parked in the nearby trees with a jerry can in his hand. He had already loaded the body into the driver’s side of the car. He doused the vehicle with gasoline. Reaching inside, he shoved the battered Volkswagen into gear and rolled it forward. He stepped back, lit a match, flicked it into the car and raised his boot to nudge the bumper. The car clunked down the rough, rock face of the ridge. All was dark for a moment then a whoosh of fire lit the night sky.

Hope that has you hooked.

Maelstrom on

Maelstrom on

Maelstrom on

Writing Dialogue & New Releases

Medusa - google images

Writing dialogue can be akin to wrestling with Medusa. It’s a knock-down, drag-out battle with a mess of words that may as well be snakes – they are that slippery and hard to get the better of. All to ensure that a particular character’s voice will hit the page the way it sounds in my head.

Writing dialogue is tricky. It isn’t exactly how people talk – it can’t be. No one would wade through pages that read like the transcript of an actual conversation. Believe me, I’ve transcribed enough research interviews to be sure of that. Conversation may sound okay when you’re present for it, otherwise not so much.

cover - On Writing



In his book, On Writing, Stephen King tell us that dialogue is a skill best learned by people who enjoy talking and listening to others.



I love to write dialogue. When I block out a new scene it’s always in terms of what characters are going to say. Only later do I flesh out the setting, add the beats that allow pacing and the character attributions that keep the reader on track. The compass I steer by is my intimate knowledge of the characters. 

CDN (book antiqua) Full Cover JPEG Final Proof

Here’s an excerpt from my newly released novel, Chasing Down the Night. See what you think?

Izzy shook her head as she remembered their earlier talk about wedding dresses. It had occurred a month or so after their decision to get married. Liam had caught Izzy by surprise when he asked, “What are you planning to wear for the wedding, Iz?”

She had looked up from digging one of Robbie’s T-shirts out of the laundry basket, giving it a brisk snap, folding it and laying it on a pile of the boy’s things. “Oh, I was thinking of not wearing anything at all. A naked wedding might be fun.”

Liam pulled a magazine from a stack of things he’d brought home from the library that afternoon. He flipped it open to a page marked with a blue tab. “What do you think of a dress like this?”

Izzy took the magazine from his hands and sat down on the sofa beside him. She stared wide-eyed at the full-page photo of a young woman who stood facing the camera in an elaborate, formal garden. The model wore a traditional white gown; the low-cut bodice was scattered with pearls and the train swept across the lawn behind her. She held a massive bouquet of pink roses in front of her at waist level. The fabric behind the flowers took on a dreamy glow. Her eyes were downcast; thick lashes shadowed her glowing cheeks. Izzy swallowed in disbelief.

Liam pulled out another magazine, flipped to a similar blue tab and said, “Or maybe something like this?”

Izzy accepted the second magazine wordlessly. This time she saw a woman wearing a white, off-the-shoulder, peasant-type dress; her arms were filled with wild flowers and more of the same decorated her long hair. She was spinning around in a field. Izzy closed the magazine and placed both her hands flat on the top cover, trying to obscure the words, Modern Bride. She glanced at Liam for a moment to see if this was all part of some kind of elaborate joke. When it obviously wasn’t, she said, “Have you lost your mind, Liam?”

“Don’t think so. You did say I could plan the wedding.” He pulled out another book and turned to a red tab. “Do you like the idea of fondant for the wedding cake? It looks pretty fancy.” He flipped to another red tabbed page, “But this looks more like people could actually eat it. What do you think?”

Izzy reached past Liam to grab a notebook from the pile. She held it up and said, “What exactly do these colour-coded tabs stand for?”

Liam smiled as he began ticking off a list of things on his fingers, “Blue is for clothing, red for food and beverages, yellow for the service, green for music, purple for decorations and flowers, orange for the guest list and I think pink is for gifts and rings.”

Izzy put the book down carefully. “No coloured tab for psychiatric institutions?” She threw the folded piles of laundry into the basket, got up and headed for their bedroom. As she yanked open Liam’s dresser drawer to throw in his underwear, she heard him say, “I’m not sure you could pull off this sixties flower-child look anyway. The traditional gown has more class. What do you think?”

She balanced the laundry basked against her hip, walked out of their bedroom and passed him on the way down to Sophie’s room. “I think you should make an appointment to see a doctor. You are way further gone that you realize, Liam.”

This is release weekend for the e-book edition of Chasing Down the Night. Please pop over to the venue of your choice and pick-up a copy. Early sales always boost an indie authors confidence. Winking smile

Amazon. ca

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As always, many thanks for your support.

Love Lies Bleeding - Guenette photo