Story Settings and What’s Next!

Like all readers I have favourite story settings. Some real, some fictional, most are a combination of both. One of my favourite story settings is found in this incredible novel, now motion picture, ROOM by Emma Donoghue. The importance of place is paramount. One room is five-year-old Jack’s world. Another is the farm Green Gables found in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. The inspiration of which is found in Cavandish, Prince Edward Island. I was lucky enough to visit Green Gables Heritage site.

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I fell in love with the Chesapeake Bay area because of Nora Roberts book Sea Swept. Was fascinated with Tara Janzen’s Steele Street series and her chop-shop turned special ops heroes based in Denver.

My own fictional setting of Aspen Lake is based on a resort area I spent a lot of time at when I was a young child. I also worked there for a couple of summers while I pursued my post-secondary education. I met my husband while working at Moose Mountain Provincial Park. I have very fond memories of this area. And although I’m a city girl at heart I love reading and writing about small towns.

Modelling Aspen Lake after this region seemed a natural thing to do. Especially considering I was a novice at writing. There was a very clear picture on the environment and the social construct of the place in my head and the missing details were easy to find.

But now that I’m writing the final book in this series, I’m starting to think about the next series. For this series, I’m heading Into The Woods…

And into northern Canada. Which provides endless options as that encompasses a vast space.

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“Northern” Canada encompasses all land above the country’s 60th parallel, which is divided into three territories (from west to east): Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Upwards of 90 per cent of the land in all three is strictly uninhabitable, a barren wasteland of rock, ice and snow, meaning most populated areas are located either in the southern region or close to the coast of some lake, river or ocean. Even then, “habitable” is very much in the eye of the beholder. Even in the cities, it’s not at all uncommon for winter temperatures to dip below -40˚(C).  J.J. McCullough J.J.’s Complete Guide To Canada

But how far into the north of 60 to venture, and how far west to explore? What topics do I want to explore with this series. One thing I’ve learned? Creating a setting for your story is more than local fauna and flora, or brick and mortar buildings, although it’s important to get those right too.

Although I don’t write fantasy or science fiction I’m fascinated with world building. And also with the rules of magic. The Rules of Magic, According To The Greatest Fantasy Sagas Of All Time. I’m not reading much fantasy or science fiction at the moment, but I am watching the television version of The Shannara Chronicles.

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The stakes are high. The bad guy is actually a worthy adversary. And the actors are pretty. When they’re not screaming in terror. Because, hello, demons.

In an interesting article by Malinda Lo on world building. In it she repeats Holly Black’s, author of the Spiderwick Chronicles, six questions to use when establishing your world’s rules about magic or science. Also, her thoughts on power, rituals, food, etc. My setting will be a contemporary real-life place. There might not be magic. But I can’t help but apply her questions about rules and power when thinking of developing a potential setting. Because, Power? That’s a theme, big or small, we all explore in one way or another.

  • Who has it?
  • Who abuses it?
  • Who wants it?
  • Who rejects it?
  • What does it mean to each of them?
  • How far will they go to use it, get it, gain it, or deny it?
  • What does it cost them?
  • What does it mean for the people around them?
  • How does their attitude to power break them off into groups?

That’s where I’m at. What are some of your favourite story settings?

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Off The Grid 99c Until January 22nd

Off The Grid is on sale for 99c!

It’s a steal of a deal for 99 cents until January 22nd! Set in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, British Columbia, Off The Grid is the story of two people snared in the net cast by one man in a quest for power and dominance.

I think this book weighs in higher on the suspense side. Bad things happen in this book. Just so you know. It’s honest, emotional, and fast paced. If you love gritty romantic suspense, this is the book for you!

Poverty, Privilege and Power

Off The Grid by Karyn Good

Off The Grid by Karyn Good 99c until January 22nd

A committed doctor to Vancouver’s inner city, nothing fazes Sophie Monroe—until a pregnant teenager shows up at her clinic on Christmas Eve requesting sanctuary and claiming the baby’s father is one of the city’s most influential businessmen. Sophie is in over her head and thankful when aid shows up in the form of an attorney who’s a little too confident and a lot too sexy.

Family Law expert Caleb Quinn just wants a date, a chance to prove he isn’t the elitist jerk Sophie assumes. Helping deliver a baby is not what he has in mind. But before long protecting a traumatized teenager and her son become his first priority. Even if saving them pits him against the baby’s father, a childhood friend. A man who will do anything to keep his dark side private.

But justice never comes cheap. Will doing the right thing cost Sophie and Caleb their reputations? Or their lives?

The Wild Rose Press * Amazon * Kobo * Barnes and Noble * iBooks

A Bit About The Inspiration Behind Off The Grid

The first time I heard about the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, famously dubbed Canada’s poorest postal code, I knew I wanted to set a story there. In a tough environment where I could explore the incredibly difficult choices some women are forced to make in order to survive. Not pretty ones, but real ones. I wanted a heroine who was compassionate, smart, and driven and a hero who was the product of privilege, ambition, and character. Two protagonists caught up in something bigger than themselves who must decide on which side of the line they are going to stand.

“These people, they aren’t invisible, and acknowledging that is worth something.” Eastside Stories

The video below is a powerful reminder that we’re all equal, that poverty isn’t catching, and that how we care for each other matters.

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My 2016 Word Of The Year

One Word To Guide Me!

Discipline

Discipline! My Word For 2016.

This is a photo of Peggy’s Point Lighthouse, Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia which we visited in the summer of 2014. It literally sits atop rock. As in granite. I have no idea how it hasn’t been washed away. One of the most recognizable lighthouses in the world, it’s now operated by the Canadian Coast Guard. The original lighthouse was built in 1868. The keeper lit a kerosene oil lamp at sundown every night shining a red beacon on the eastern entrance to St. Margaret’s Bay.

One Word To Keep Me On Track!

Discipline! I didn’t have to think very hard to come up with my word for 2016. Organization was my 2015 word and I actually felt I achieved some measure of success. Choosing discipline seemed a good way to compliment the work I’ve already been doing. Unlike last year’s word, this year’s choice of discipline is geared towards my writing life. As in setting aside specific times to write and guarding and enforcing it. Working at keeping the distractions to a minimum. And in the end, upping my production.

One Word To Bring It All Together!

That’s a lot pressure to place on a single word. But I find it easier to keep one word front and center, rather than a list of resolutions. Compounded by the fact I’ve never succeeded at keeping one past New Year’s resolution. Ever. And it gives me leeway to set monthly goals and revise ones that aren’t working.

And In The Darkness…Wait! What?

Never mind that. Hopefully at the end of 2016 I’ll have finished one book and written another. All with the help of one ten letter word.

Do you pick a word of the year? One that describes what you want to achieve in the upcoming year?

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#8Sunday:

Another Sunday, another eight lines to share. This weekend it’s all about attraction and that first tumble into love.

From my new romantic suspense, OFF THE GRID.

A committed doctor to Vancouver’s inner city, nothing fazes Sophie Monroe—until a pregnant teenager shows up at her clinic on Christmas Eve requesting sanctuary.

No soft music played. The dim lighting was courtesy of an unlit dingy hallway. The smell of antiseptic and desperation laced the air. It didn’t matter. Sophie wanted to meet his challenge. She didn’t want to dodge. Or object. She wanted to kiss the hell out of Caleb Quinn.

Make sure and check out the other great offerings or continue on down the list @ The Weekend Writing Warriors.

Off the Grid postcard 2

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*  The Wild Rose Press  * Amazon  *  Kobo  *  Barnes and Noble  *  All Romance Ebooks  *  BookStrand *  iBooks

 

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#8Sunday: A Sunday Snippet

What can you tell by reading 8 sentences of a story? Quite a lot, I hope! The following snippet is taken from my romantic suspense, OFF THE GRID.

A committed doctor to Vancouver’s inner city, nothing fazes Sophie Monroe—until a pregnant teenager shows up at her clinic on Christmas Eve requesting sanctuary.

8 Sentences and the opening lines of OFF THE GRID:

Dr. Sophie Monroe lifted her face to the cold sting of falling snow. The flakes cooled her heated cheeks. Their fresh scent cleansed her mind of the day’s battles. On the ground it covered the everyday debris of crack vials and castoff condoms. Litter from the urgent business dealings conducted in the shadowed alley behind her clinic. In the waning light of the gathering storm she studied the dark doorways relieved to find them empty.

Car keys in hand, Sophie ignored the angry shouts drifting down from the corner of Hastings and Gore. Further proof Christmas struggled to find its way to the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.

Make sure and check out the other great offerings or continue on down the list @ The Weekend Writing Warriors.

Off the Grid postcard 1

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*  The Wild Rose Press  * Amazon  *  Kobo  *  Barnes and Noble  *  All Romance Ebooks  *  BookStrand *  iBooks

Great weekends need great books!

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December News, Manicures and Leftovers

Sexy Suspense

It’s that time of year when we’re all running around in circles. Or maybe that’s just me. Some of you are probably organized and have tamed the beast that Christmas can become. Me? I’ve decided this is a go-with-the-flow year. Do what I can, skip what I can’t and see what happens. Hopefully, it’s not anarchy.

Might be a good idea to indulge in a little pampering to reduce stress.

Like maybe a home manicure?

Remove old color with polish remover and a cotton ball.

Trim,  cut and file nails to your length of choice. As for shape, there are two main options: square or rounded. And neither form will chip more than the other.

Soak hands in a bowl of warm water for five minutes. Add two tablespoons of a bath powder or your favorite liquid soap to soften nails. Make sure the water’s not too hot or it will dry out your hands and nails.

Soften by applying cuticle oil or lotion on dry hands.

Push back cuticles so they don’t get in the way of the polish. Leave the cutting of cuticles to the professionals.

Exfoliate hands with a body scrub or homemade mixture of olive oil and kosher salt or raw sugar. Scrub for two to three minutes, then wash thoroughly.

Moisturize dry hands by applying a rich moisturizer.

Polish. Apply a base coat first, then apply two thin coats of polish. Finish with a top coat.

I actually prefer home manicures to salon ones. And if you’re into making gift baskets there might be someone special on your list who would love a Manicure Basket.

I also know a lot of you will be cooking turkey this holiday season. I can’t wait. Roast turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes is one of my favorite meals. I won’t be cooking one this year as someone as already volunteered to do that duty. Lucky me, I get to sit back and eat with none of the prep work. It also means I won’t have to deal with leftovers. But if I did, the following is one of my favorite recipes, my Aunt Alma’s Creamed Chicken.

Aunt Alma’s Creamed Chicken

2 cups cooked chicken (or leftover turkey)
1 can of cream of chicken soup
½ cup of sour cream
½ cup Milk (or maybe ¼ cup) You get to decide on the consistency.
Dash of Pepper
A Few Peas (we use frozen and about a hand full)
1 ¼ cups of grated Cheddar cheese
Half your favorite biscuit recipe (we use Bisquick)

Heat to boil (on stove) soup, milk, sour cream, pepper, and some frozen peas. Put in a baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese, heat in oven until bubbles. Cover with ½ recipe of your favorite biscuit rolled thin in squares. Bake about 20 minutes at 350 F.

The secret ingredient in both recipes is the cheese. Cheese makes anything taste good.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Books make great gifts!

Available Now

Available Now

*  The Wild Rose Press  * Amazon  *  Kobo  *  Barnes and Noble  *  All Romance Ebooks  *  BookStrand *  iBooks

Off The Grid (Downtown Eastside Series, Book 1)

A committed doctor to Vancouver’s inner city, nothing fazes Sophie Monroe—until a pregnant teenager shows up at her clinic on Christmas Eve requesting sanctuary and claiming the baby’s father is one of the city’s most influential businessmen. Sophie is in over her head and thankful when aid shows up in the form of an attorney who’s a little too confident and a lot too sexy.

Family Law expert Caleb Quinn just wants a date, a chance to prove he isn’t the elitist jerk Sophie assumes. Helping deliver a baby is not what he has in mind. But before long protecting a traumatized teenager and her son become his first priority. Even if saving them pits him against the baby’s father, a childhood friend. A man who will do anything to keep his dark side private.

But justice never comes cheap. Will doing the right thing cost Sophie and Caleb their reputations? Or their lives?

Continue reading

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November News: Killer Chicks Blog, Giveaway News, Off The Grid Release

Sexy Suspense

You can now find me Mondays at Killer Chicks. How fun is that to say!

killer chicks

 

We’re a diverse group of women writers who love thrillers in all of their incarnations: mystery, crime, suspense, and even darker fiction. Join us if you dare!

Mythos, Murder, & Mayhem

 

I’ll be joing JB Lynn and B.E. Sanderson, both excellent writers and awesome people!

You can find B.E. Sanderson at her blog, The Writing Spectacle.  Her words: Writer of suspense, speculative fiction (aka dystopian, futuristic, post-apocalyptic… pick one, they all work), and urban fantasy for the adult market. I also bake stuff, garden, inhale books, tromp through the woods, take photos…

JB (you can call her Jen) writes laugh-out-loud suspense and mysteries, along with goosebump-raising thrillers. These include the Hitwoman Series, the Matchmaker Series, and The First Victim.

Twitter: @thekillerchicks

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Available Now

OFF THE GRID

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*  The Wild Rose Press  * Amazon  *  Kobo  *  Barnes and Noble  *  All Romance Ebooks  *  BookStrand *  iBooks

Enter my Goodreads Giveaway! Also check out all the other giveaways! Someone has to win the books! You never know – it might be you.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Off the Grid by Karyn Good

Off the Grid

by Karyn Good

Giveaway ends December 07, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

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Today’s The Day: Off The Grid is Available!

Sexy Suspense

It’s Relase Day for my romantic suspense, OFF THE GRID!

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The Wild Rose Press  *  Amazon  *  Kobo  *  All Romance Ebooks (ARe)  *  BookStrand

This story is set in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, British Columbia, infamously known as one of Canada’s poorest urban postal codes. A historical ‘skid road’ because of the city’s history in timber and logging. And known to sex trade workers as the Low Track. The area is plagued by urban decay associated with poverty, drug use, crime, and violence and has the horrific statistics to match its reputation. Hundreds of women associated with the DTES Low Track have gone missing since the 1980’S. Hundreds. Twenty-six of those women were murdered by convicted serial killer, Robert Pickton.

Fortunately, for the many people who call the Downtown Eastside their home, the DTES is also known for its community activism. As developers move in to gentrify the neighborhood and push them out, activists move to stop them.

These statistics were the inspiration for activist Dr. Sophie Monroe, Family Law expert Caleb Quinn, and corporate development kingpin Jason Drummond.

Blurb:

She wants to save the world. All he wants is a date.

A committed doctor to Vancouver’s inner city, nothing fazes Sophie Monroe—until a pregnant teenager shows up at her clinic on Christmas Eve requesting sanctuary and claiming the baby’s father is one of the city’s most influential businessmen. Sophie is in over her head and thankful when aid shows up in the form of an attorney who’s a little too confident and a lot too sexy.

Family Law expert Caleb Quinn just wants a date, a chance to prove he isn’t the elitist jerk Sophie assumes. Helping deliver a baby is not what he has in mind. But before long protecting a traumatized teenager and her son become his first priority. Even if saving them pits him against the baby’s father, a childhood friend. A man who will do anything to keep his dark side private.

But justice never comes cheap. Will doing the right thing cost Sophie and Caleb their reputations? Or their lives?

Excerpt:

Casual relationships weren’t her thing. Once she’d yearned for more. For the commitment other women scoffed at. Then she’d learned her lesson. It didn’t mean she didn’t crave family. She refused to ask about the woman from his office. It was none of her business. Neither was he. But renewed determination to resist him didn’t mean he wasn’t getting to her.

No soft music played. The dim lighting was courtesy of an unlit dingy hallway. The smell of antiseptic and desperation laced the air. It didn’t matter. Sophie wanted to meet his challenge. She didn’t want to dodge. Or object. She wanted to kiss the hell out of Caleb Quinn.

So she stepped back. “I can’t do this with you. I need to know I matter. That I’m the only name on your list.”

Caleb took her face in his warm hands. “Sophie, right now there is no one else but you.”

She wrapped her hands around his wrists and tugged them away. “But there’s a long line behind me and I’m choosing not to join the queue.”

“Don’t.” He refused to let go of her hands when she tried to release them, brought them up between them. “Don’t toss this aside.”

“I don’t do casual.”

“There won’t be anything casual about it.”

There you have it! I hope I’ve intrigued enough to purchase a copy of Off The Grid. Happy Reading!

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A Birthday Bash and A Chance to #Win #Ebooks!

It’s Jana Richards Birthday Bash and she’s giving away the gifts. 18 authors and chances to win great books (one of them mine!). Chances to win every hour!

Birthday Celebration Banner large FINAL

Meet The Authors!

Enter Here!

I’ll be giving away a ecopy of OFF THE GRID at 5:00 pm!

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A.J. Nuest – http://ajnuest.com

Andrea Downing – http://andreadowning.com

Heather McCollum – http://www.heathermccollum.com

Ilona Fridl – http://www.ilonafridl.com

Inez Kelley – http://inezkelley.com

Christy Effinger – www.christyeffinger.com

J.C. McKenzie – http://www.jcmckenzie.ca

Kayelle Allen – http://kayelleallen.com

 Lesley Anne McLeod – http://www.lesleyannemcleod.com

Mary Balogh – http://www.marybalogh.com

Ashley Ladd – http://ashleyladd.blogspot.ca

Annette Bower – www.annettebower.com/blog

Debra Doggett – www.facebook.com/pages/Debra-Doggett/205566736172548?fref=ts

Elizabeth Lang – www.elizabeth-lang.com

Karyn Good – http://www.karyngood.com

KyAnn Waters – http://kyannwaters.com

Judith B. Glad – http://www.judithbglad.com

Barbara Bettis – www.barbarabettis.blogspot.com

Jana Richards – http://www.janarichards.com

Hope you check it out and enter to win some ebooks from some wonderful authors!

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Suspense, SiWC14, and November News

Sexy Suspense

The last weekend in October saw me heading to my first ever writing conference!

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The SiWC (Surrey International Writers Conference) takes place every year in Surrey, British Columbia. Writers from all genres come to learn craft and pitch their stories. Presenters ranged from Diana Gabaldon (Outlander), Chuck Wendig (Author and Blogger: Terrible Minds), Sarah Wendell (Author and Blogger: Smart Bitches Trashy Books), Elizabeth Boyle (Regency Historicals) to Donald Maass (Author and Agent). And so many more!

I attended workshops from Hallie Ephron (Suspense) Kim Foster (Suspense), and Pam Binder (Romantic Time Travel) and more. My mind is brimming with ideas on setting, dialogue and murder. Keynote speakers, excellent food and entertainment. There is nothing better than being in a room of like-minded people. People who not only understand but encouraged the part of you needing to express your creative self on paper. Or in a word document in your computer. Or a cocktail napkin.

November also sees us ensconed in NaNoWriMo madness. I’ve only participated in National Novel Writing Month one time. That was in 2009. During that time I wrote the first draft on a novel, now titled EXPOSED, my second Aspen Lake story. I contracted that story to The Wild Rose Press in August and it will be released sometime during the first half of 2015. I’m not sure the NaNoWriMo style of writing is for me, but I encourage everyone to try it once. I will say it was a very valuable learning experience.

Latest News

Available November 7th!

perf5.000x8.000.inddA committed doctor to Vancouver’s inner city, nothing fazes Sophie Monroe—until a pregnant teenager shows up at her clinic on Christmas Eve requesting sanctuary and claiming the baby’s father is one of the city’s most influential businessmen. Sophie is in over her head and thankful when aid shows up in the form of an attorney who’s a little too confident and a lot too sexy.

Family Law expert Caleb Quinn just wants a date, a chance to prove he isn’t the elitist jerk Sophie assumes. Helping deliver a baby is not what he has in mind. But before long protecting a traumatized teenager and her son become his first priority. Even if saving them pits him against the baby’s father, a childhood friend. A man who will do anything to keep his dark side private.

But justice never comes cheap. Will doing the right thing cost Sophie and Caleb their reputations? Or their lives?

OFF THE GRID releases in five days on November 7th. I’m so excited. Here’s a look at some of the images I used as inspiration.

Diable Cody

Activist Dr. Sophie Monroe

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Family Law Expert, Caleb Quinn

the balmoralThe Balmoral Hotel

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