halifax

Shawna Romkey Book Launch Tonight “Speak of the Devil”

Tonight 5pm-9pm AST at the Lower Deck Taproom Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada Author Shawna Romkey reveals her debut novel “Speak of the Devil” to the public!

 

 

ShawnaRomkeyAuthorPhoto2

About Shawna:

Shawna grew up in around farms in the heart of Missouri but went to the University of Kansas, was raised in the US but now lives on the ocean in Nova Scotia with her husband, two sons, two rescue dogs and one overgrown puppy from hell. She’s a non-conformist who follows her heart.

 

She has her BA in creative writing from the University of Kansas where one of her plays was chosen by her creative writing professor to be produced locally, and two of her short stories were published in a university creative arts handbook.  She earned her MA in English from Central Missouri State University where she wrote a novel as her thesis.

She’s taught English at the university and secondary levels for close to twenty years and can’t quite fathom how all of her students have grown up, yet she’s managed to stay the same.  She’s a huge geek and fan of Xena, Buffy and all kick ass women, and loves to write stories that have strong female characters.

 

 

 

 

http://www.shawnaromkey.com/

 http://www.amazon.com/dp/1939173191/?tag=trkaz-20

 

 

 

Here’s her excerpt for you:

Rain fell, not uncommon for late spring in Missouri. “If you don’t like the weather here,” my grandfather would say, “wait five minutes.” Of course, I’d visited distant relatives in Maine once before, and they said the same thing.

Julie fumbled with the wipers while I pulled the sun visor down to check my face in its little rectangular mirror, even though I’d only left my vanity like five minutes ago. The lights on either side lit up the interior of the car. I reached into my tiny party purse to find my lip gloss, which was easy to locate since I’d only packed the essentials in my bag: phone, some cash, and make-up. As I glanced at myself, I saw Mike in the reflection, smiling at me from the back seat. I stuck my tongue out at him, making him laugh, and put on the lip-gloss, fully aware of how flirty I acted.

The windshield wipers couldn’t keep up with the sudden downpour. The pitter-patter turned to thumping. Hail came down in gumball-sized pellets. “Damn.” Julie jerked the steering wheel to keep The Whale off the curb.

“Slow down, Jules.” Mike gripped Julie’s headrest. “We can pull over until it passes.”

“Yeah.” She squinted to see the road before her.

I pressed my lips together to smooth out the gloss. “Damn is right. I didn’t bring a jacket.”

The Whale swerved to the right crunching along the gravel on the side of the road. I braced myself in my seat. Julie leaned up to the steering wheel and peered over it as my grandmother sometimes did when she drove. I squinted because of the stupid light up visor mirror. I slammed it shut, but Julie panicked and over corrected, pulling The Whale to the left and careening over the yellow dotted line in the middle of the street.

“Julie!” Mike shouted.

Time slowed and ticked out in heartbeats.

Ba bum.

Julie cringed, her hands moving up to shield her face. Her head turned away from the highway.

Ba bum.

Mike reached protectively from the back seat.

Ba bum.

The headlights illuminated the rail of the overpass.

Ba bum.

The car hit the rail on the opposite side of the road with a hard thud.

Ba bum.

Crap. We’re going over the bridge.

Ba bum.

The Whale’s nose pointed down toward the water.

Ba bum.

A jolt forward and my forehead slammed into the dashboard.

Ba bum.

The Whale flipped in the air. I’m upside down.

Ba bum.

Pain.

Ba bum.

Did my mom say good-bye when I left?

Ba bum.

Cold water rushed into the car.

Ba bum.

Is this it?

Ba bum.

I can’t breathe. Oh my God, I can’t breathe. I can’t see or breathe!

My heart quickened. It pounded. The Whale leaned on its side under the surface of the water which rushed in fast, and I couldn’t see a damn thing.

Calm, stay calm. Don’t panic. They say when you’re drowning not to panic because you use up your air faster.
Dammit, am I drowning?

I tried to get myself upright and jerked out of my seatbelt. Luckily, it gave way. I fought the latch to open the door facing up, but the pressure of the water from Black Water River held it closed, trapping me inside.

Jesus. I know this river. It’s more of a creek. It can’t be more than fifteen feet across and ten feet deep.
I pushed at the door. Opening my mouth to scream, I swallowed water.

I couldn’t see or hear Julie or Mike. My watch ticked. Or was it my heart beating?

Ba bum. Ba bum. Ba bum.

Darkness.

Silence.

Cold.

Wet.

Defying gravity.

Nothing.

The dreams came. Like a good sleep you don’t want to wake up from. I felt heavy and floaty. I wore this long white gauzy gown and the wind blew my dress and my hair like in some feminine hygiene commercial. I could breathe slowly and deeply. Completely relaxed and at peace, but I was alone.

I floated along in a white space for a while. Drifting. Breathing. Relaxing. Had I gone to a spa? After an immeasurable amount of time, others appeared. They wore white clothing, too, and they floated like me, reaching out. They opened their arms as if to welcome me to them.

I stopped and frowned. I heard no sound, and I didn’t know who these white floaty people were or why they welcomed me. They smiled, genuinely happy, and held their arms out to me. I panicked.

Where’s my mom? My family? Wait, Mike and Julie were just with me, where are they? Are those wings?
I noticed the others floating with me had white feathery wings.

“Lily,” one of them called out.

Holy hell. I’m dead.

Cover reveal: Author Shawna Romkey’s “Speak of the Devil”

Author Shawna Romkey's cover reveal

Author Shawna Romkey’s cover reveal

 

 

http://www.shawnaromkey.com

 

 

What happens when falling in love and falling from grace collide?

 

 

After dying in a car accident with her two best friends, Lily miraculously awakens to grief and guilt. She escapes to her dad’s to come to terms with the event and meets some people at her new school who seem all too eager to help her heal. Sliding deeper into sorrow and trying to fight her feelings for two of them, she finds out who…what they really are and that they are falling too.

 

 

Can she find the strength to move on from the past, reconcile her feelings for Luc, find a way to stop a divine war with fallen angels, and still pass the eleventh grade?

 

 

What do you think of this great cover?  Due out March 15th, 2013 from Crescent Moon Press.  http://www.crescentmoonpress.com/

Own the words you say.

Own the words you say.

I’m not just coming into that sentence as a new writer but as someone who’s very aware of the words that I choose when I converse.

Getting into the Maritime Gift Show was billed as being a lucrative spot.  Their words influenced my decision.  That’s not going to happen again! Here’s the pic that shows how we were all lucky if we got 30 people in attendance at our booths.  Plus, Hall 2 (there were only 2) was on top of the ice rink.  Brrr!  For four days I was layered and double socked.

No one at the Gift Show day after day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the Hearts on Fire event Feb 9th 2012 at The Halifax Club my tongue felt like it was choking my throat due to the nerves of how the event was going to go over.  I had other writers and guests tell me the same thing – they were watching what they said while having a great time mingling.  One of the topics was the upcoming Women Making Waves Conference happening at Mount Saint Vincent University which I missed last year but I’m going to it this year with author Julia Phillips Smith.   http://www.juliaphillipssmith.com

Here’s the people who made the Hearts on Fire Event happen:  (Watch for the RWAC writers on Live at Five Tuesday Feb 14 2012).

Trevor Romkey, Shawna Romkey, Caroline Ruyle, Shelley LeBlonc, The Halifax Club’s Edwinna.

http://www.dogwoodconsulting.com

Hearts on Fire Design by Caroline Ruyle

Had a great time at The Halifax Club!

December 4th 2-4pm Jennie Marsland at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic Halifax NS

Today I have another guest blogger answering my questions about her book, “Shattered.”  Set around the Halifax Explosion she is appearing December 4th 2-4pm at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, downtown Halifax, N.S. and again January 10th 7pm at the Keshan Goodman Library in Clayton Park, N.S.  Jennie Marsland is a local author and part of the Romance Writers of American Atlantic Chapter.  She has other books that I’ve happily read including “McShannon’s Heart.”

Jennie Marsland on Twitter @Jenniemarsland

Jennie Marsland on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jennie.marsland

“Shattered” is available for sale at http://www.amazon.com/Shattered-ebook/dp/B005PGR1L0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1322484090&sr=8-2

 

What made the story behind the Halifax Explosion appeal to you as a romance writer?

The drama I suppose. Families were separated and spent days not knowing if their loved ones were alive or dead. There were miracles of survival and heroic rescues. As well, I can’t help feel for the returned veterans who had already suffered in the war overseas and then had to go through the trauma of the Explosion. In a romance, you have to create problems or danger for the lead couple, and the Explosion certainly qualifies. Also, I could do the research in my own back yard.

 

What did you find in your research behind the Explosion – the way people from around North American came together? How widespread a tragedy it was at that time of year?

It amazed me how quickly other countries, particularly the US and Britain, came to Nova Scotia’s aid. Many Nova Scotians had family ties in New England and in the ‘old country’, but I have to think that all the help wasn’t completely altruistic. Halifax was strategically vital to the war effort, and it was essential that the port be up and running again as quickly as possible. Which takes nothing away from the generosity of the thousands – even school children – who provided money or help to the city.

Who is your favourite character in your novel, “Shattered”?

Ask the tough ones, won’t you? I’d have to say Alice. In spite of the poor treatment she’s received from her family, she isn’t selfish or bitter. She knows what she wants and she won’t settle for less. She has inner strength she doesn’t know she possesses – until her feelings for Liam bring it out.

What is it about romance writing that you enjoy the most?

The lead couple’s journey from fear and doubt to love and trust, and the growth they experience along the way. In Shattered, Liam believes he’s too damaged to love or be loved, and Alice has to learn to believe she has a right to go for what she wants. Her unselfishness is almost a fault in the beginning, but in her circumstances, it’s hard to blame her. I don’t like romances where the couple fall for each other too quickly – I like a slower, more gradual build-up.

How long did it take to write “Shattered”?

About eight months. If there was a wishing fairy, I’d ask to be able to write faster.

Are you working on a second novel related to “Shattered”?

Yes. Alice has an older brother, Carl, who’s just come home from the front and is throwing his family into chaos. I enjoyed writing his character so much that I decided to give him his own story. So, I beat him up, put him on a train, gave him broken ribs and pneumonia and dumped him off in a small town in Saskatchewan. I fell in love with the prairies on a 4H trip when I was in high school. Carl’s story is called Deliverance, and that’s what he finds, thanks to the former Red Cross nurse who takes him in. The first chapter is included at the end of Shattered. There might eventually be a story about Alice’s sister Georgie as well.

 Anything you’d like to draw attention to at the time of this blog posting ie. events, workshops, signings etc.?

I’ll be doing a book signing at the Maritime Museum here in Halifax on Sunday, December 4, from 2 to 4 pm. I’m really excited about this. The museum has a very poignant Halifax Explosion exhibit. In one display, there’s a little china cup with ‘Remember Me’ painted on it. That cup survived in a house that was totally destroyed. It gives me chills every time I look at it. Also, I’m doing a workshop on researching for historical fiction on January 10, 1012 from 7 to 9 pm at the Keshen Goodman Library in Halifax. As for online events, I’m guesting on fellow author Julia Phillips Smith’s blog, A Piece of My Mind, on Thursday, Dec.1. I Facebook and tweet all my online and in-person events, so readers can easily keep up by following me on Twitter or FB.

Jennie's latest book, self-pubbed this time!

 

 

 

What I know after 5 years of grief.

What I know.  Sounds like I have a secret to tell, doesn’t it?

Here it is.  You may have already guessed it for yourself.  Death waits for no one but life continues even as you exit this world.  For what – we don’t really know or comprehend.  We try to – maybe we go to church, maybe we pray, maybe we meditate or visit spiritual places and for some of us we write about it.

So today I let myself be taken care of.  I visited Michelle Carter at Willow Esthetiques for some 3 hour pampering.  Then, I went to Planet Beach Contemp Spa for a massage where I can listen to music and let myself really relax in a room by myself.  Carrie Hayden is great there.  Then, I went to Starbucks instead of Sweet Smiles Pastry Cafe and the universe let me know that wasn’t a good decision as I almost choked on a cake pop.  Damn those cake pop photoshopped pics – they always look great on the menu photo but mine was so dry I started to choke in my car.  Maybe if I had gone in the Starbucks some cute guy would’ve offered his help and my romance writer side would write our life story the moment he touched me.  LOL.

Tonight I’m going to the Women of Excellence Awards.

All of these events, besides the choking one, are positive reminders that the world keeps spinning with or without you.

And today.  My friend and author Julia Phillips Smith http://www.juliaphillipssmith.com has her release on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Saint-Sanguinus-Vampire-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00689V17I/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1321467880&sr=1-1 and at Smashwords at http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/105486

What a great day for her.  To know that years of dedication and work is realized through the Internet.  That there’s a choice in the publishing world.  With great support from her Romance Writers of America Atlantic Chapter group she’s flying like the eagle I chase when I go to Cape Breton.  Such an inspiration.

So.  Take flight.  Go to school.  Get that job.  Make your priorities as Chalene Johnson says in her Car Smart series before your goals.

Or attend Jac McNeil’s speaking engagements through the Royal Bank series as mentioned by the Centre for Women in Business.  http://www.highlandcoaching.com/join-me    Jac and I met at her retreat last October, I joined her Tribal X group and then enlisted her aid in business/writing coaching.  She’s a firecracker so let her engage in you and let yourself fly.  Fly high.

Hmm… upon review that’s a lot of Estrogren I’m pumping into your lives today.  My Dad was always pushing my feminist side and told me in my first year at Trent that Women Studies 100 would be good for me.  Maybe I’d better put *that* on my EHarmony.ca profile.  :-)

Nanowrimo and other adventures!

As I hit my stride this Monday morning I realize I love writing. Don’t get me wrong – I’m just setting up my first critique partner and starting to submit short stories so my writing could be crap. But the act of brewing coffee after walking the dogs and then settling in front of the laptop to write with them at my feet is precious. I hope that no matter what happens with my writing as I pursue it as a career that I keep this enjoyment with me.
So I am loving Nanowrimo which is an organization that organizes a challenge – write a book/novel in a month. Their website is http://www.nanowrimo.org/

 

This challenge is supported by my writing group that is a part of Romance Writers of America. I’m using it to write a Fae story because I can’t get enough of the Sidhe Court. I just finished Yasmine Galenorn’s “Night Veil” and I’m impatiently waiting for the next one! I also loved the Mercedes Lackey series like Born to Run. And while I enjoy the tv series “Lost Girl” I am finding it harder to watch as I emphasize so much with the female lead that sometimes I just can’t watch what she goes through.
This past Sunday I missed out on my Romance Writers of American chapter meeting. I worked instead at the Trend and Fashion Expo http://www.trendandfashionexpo.com run by East Coast Dynamics http://eastcoastdynamics.com for Fifth Avenue Collection http://www.fifthavenuecollection.com/taram     I do love that job. And, as it was at the World Trade & Convention Centre the event had help setting up and tearing down so I wasn’t covered in sweat and changing into outfits like other events/festivals. I have to thank Brennan Handy and Devin Sherrington for helping me keep fitness in my life as all the cardio pays off at events like these where you’re packing and lifting boxes.
Hope you all had a great weekend and here’s hoping we get a light winter. LOL.

By the way on November 11th, 2011 Author Julia Phillips Smith will be releasing her debut novel “Saint Sanguinus.”  Check her out at http://www.juliaphillipssmith.com  and on November 10th, 2011 she’ll be chatting about her self publishing at DartNet After Hours held at Sweet Smiles Pastry Cafe in Dartmouth, N.S. on Portland Hills Drive.  http://dartnet.ca

 

Watches, Rings and Gold

Silver, colour and my draw for a 50.00 gift certificate

Rained Out at Lake Banook, Manulife Dragon Boat Race 2011

I just had the best time of my life!

It started Thursday night with advance prep of what jewelery I was going to take to the event I signed up weeks ago.  I did a search for festivals around Nova Scotia and queried like crazy sending out emails and leaving voicemails at every one I logistically could get to on a budget.

This is my first one:  The Manulife Dragon Boat Festival July 9 2011 location: Lake Banook, Dartmouth, N.S.

What a great time!  The people were hard core into their racing and got over the “is this a joke?” re: my recruiting sign for jewelery to “oh god this is really nice jewelery and I can get it for free if I host a party??!”

I also had a great prize which I’m going to draw for in about 30mins after I dry out a bit more.  The prize was a Fifth Avenue Collection coffee mug, a $25.00 hostess gift certificate to be used for any jewelery she doesn’t get for free or for a later date or web order, one book by author Julianne Maclean, author Jennie Marsland and author Daisy Piper (all Nova Scotian authors).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left side under Macfarlands’ tent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Right side of my jewelry table safely under the Macfarlands rental tent (an industrial type tent – no walls).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My recruiting sign that brought a few people over to check the brand out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The view from my tent part one

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The view from my tent part two

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Me, soaked.

My shirt is a maroon colour and it was black from the 1.5km walk I did with luggage and table when we were told we could leave.  One of the drawbacks of doing an event by yourself is that you physically assemble everything on your own.  Also, the parking for the venue was off site meaning I had to park in a zone that wasn’t a NO Saturday Parking Zone so I didn’t get ticketed.  Besides having the fire marshall walk through the entire venue along with paramedics there were traffic police.  Not a good time to argue with them, therefore, the 1.5km walk to get a good parking spot.  I arrived at 6:15am and took my time to set up as I had until 8am.  There were vendors who came all at once at 7:45 am and missed some of the early dragon boaters who checked out my product at their lesiure before the races started.

What a great time!  Click the sentence below for a video of the rainfall we had just as the races were heating up!

The driving rain that made us all pack up and leave…

@Apieceofmymind author Julia Phillips Smith and RWAC in New York

Producing video has been always something I enjoyed due to the people I get to work with.

Working on this book trailer that can be seen at Author Julia Phillips Smith website was a lot of fun.  It was work, don’t get me wrong, and we shot weeks ago but thanks to everyone who worked on it, cast and crew plus our editor we have a finished video.

http://juliaphillipssmith.com/

Julia is also on Twitter @apieceofmymind and Facebook.  Her manuscript about vampires is one of the most compelling stories I’ve recently read in part due to the fact that these vampires don’t want to be your family pet and they don’t glitter in the sun.  We have blood (as we’re human) and they want our blood.

The story that erupts between Peredur (the main hero) and Tanwen (his love interest) is honest and tragic.

So, knowing that Julia Smith is heading to New York City this week for the Romance Writers of America Conference I wish her well.  I don’t know, much like when I first started to read her manuscript, how it’ll turn out but I know one thing – I liked her book and as a paranormal/fantasy reader I know I want to see it on a bookshelf or on an e-reader that I have paid for.

Sure there’s a lot of authors out there doing the e-pub thing.  I’m going to be one of them at the end of this year.  However, I know that this story written by Julia will be an interest for TOR and HQN publishers as I read their lines all the time and she fits into their genres.  What happens next is all up to the author and whatever way she decides to publish.

Good Luck, Julia and the other 12 authors going down from our writing chapter!  http://www.romancewritersac.com/

 

Review of “Bought: The Penniless Lady” by Deborah Hale

At the last RWA chapter meeting I won the book “Bought: The Penniless Lady” by Deborah Hale.  ISBN – 13:978-0-373-29633-0

Find out more about this Canadian author at http://www.deborahhale.com/

I was thrilled!  Not only to win the book but to be able to offer a review on an author I enjoy on the page but to also do a review on someone I’ve met.

Hadrian Northmore is my kind of man.  He’s determined, bold and a completely unique character.  If you’re expecting a gentleman who only exists on intrigues and playing chess then don’t open this book.  Hadrian is a self-made man with a hero’s quest to make a better world for children and to win Lady Artemis Dearing’s heart.

Lady Artemis Dearing doesn’t know her own beauty and her first encounter with Hadrian is breathtaking simple.  They have an argument.  They storm away from each other.  This encounter makes Lady Artemis come up with a deadly plan to intertwine their futures together in a way I was not expecting.  Each chapter encourages me to turn the page to see what else these two characters are like.  They’re not your romantic stereotypes and the way they’re developed left me wishing for more when I had finished the book!

Their romance is full of chivalry and when they’re in a room together the tension pops off the page.

Can they find each other over their plan for a child’s future?  Pick up the book to find out!

“Bought: The Penniless Lady” by Deborah Hale is available at Amazon.ca for $6.99

Great read! Find it at Amazon.ca

Blog ready…

Just had a great workshop today by Julia Smith on how to blog, what to blog and how to find your blog community.

http://julia-mindovermatter.blogspot.com/

We are both members of RWA Atlantic Chapter.  I know both myself and my guest enjoyed the workshop.

Thursday night 6-9pm we have an event at the Argyle Fine Art Gallery on Barrington Street in Halifax, N.S. where authors and business professionals will meet to mingle with each other.  Fruit art by Fruitful Expressions will be there as well as catering by George & Lito’s Catering.  My company Charlie Mac Productions Inc. is working with Rich Graphics on this event and we’re hoping that the great community that is Halifax/Dartmouth/Bedford/Lower Sackville join in and say hi to each other.

RWA Atlantic Chapter really is the group where I can just relax and let my mind think of creative ideas for my writing.  The retreat I went to back in October was intense (I had to leave early) but unbelievably productive.  I got my character out of a deep pit and started the re-jig of my author website plus blog.  I never thought I would find such comradeship.

Also, yesterday I finished a 1.5 day Creative Business Retreat for the female solopreneur and I’m looking forward to working Jac McNeil into our lives more.

http://www.highlandcoaching.com/

Are you in?  Because I know I am.  I know where I am.

RWA and Bconnected meet Thursday Feb 10th at the Argyle Fine Art Gallery