Archive for October 2017 | Monthly archive page
Answer this question as quickly as you can, ready, can you name the most macho and legendary beard of all time? That’s right, 90% of you answered Ernest Hemingway, even though most of you have never read one of his many books.
His beard simply has achieved legendary status because Hemingway was more than a writer, he was an adventurer, a risk taken, and someone who made his own rules.
Hemingway and his beard are inseparable, and even though he grew his beard because he figured it would give him something to do, his life was in fact bursting at the seams.Ernest Hemingway Early Years
We need to go all the way back to July 21, 1899 to begin our journey into the life of Hemingway. This outdoors man, novelist, and journalist, was born in Oak Park, IL, and was the most interesting man in the world before that became a popular theme for beer commercial today.
Back before Hemingway took an interest in writing, he credits enthusiasm and energy to his mother. Although he later said he hates his mother for forcing him to take cello lessons for all those years, she sparked in him the drive that would lead him on one journey after another though the years.
He still talked about his mother later in life and recalled how he would despise her for making him sit through those painful lessons day after day. He also mentioned how it provided him the discipline it took to be able to sit for countless hours and write, rewrite, edit, correct, and write again, until he had it perfect.
It wasn’t until high school in Oak Park where Ernest Hemingway began his writing career. His high school newspaper published many of his articles, which propelled him to take up journalism after he left high school. Right out of high school, Hemingway went to work for the Kansas City Star.
He would only stay there for just six months, he developed his lifelong writing style based on guidelines contained in the Kansas City Star style book. He was taught to write short sentences, short first paragraphs, write in vigorous English, and always project a positive attitude.
This macho writer would eventually volunteer as an ambulance driver in Italy in 1918. One day his vehicle was hit by mortar fire, and despite sustaining injuries, he still managed to assist several Italian soldiers to safety.
Hemingway was awarded the Italian Silver Medal of Bravery and cemented his legacy as a real man’s man. Fear was not something Hemingway even acknowledged, he was adventurous beyond his years, and the thrill of living out his fantasies only sparked him to take even bigger risks.The Beard and the Man
Although Hemingway claims he grew his beard to give him something to do, it just helped to solidify his persona in his many macho novels that he would go on to write. His beard and his adventures would inspire some of his best works like “The Sun Also Rises” and “A Farewell to Arms”, both recount his adventures from World War I.Then he would pen “Death in the Afternoon”, which paints the portrait of tradition of Spanish bullfighting. “For Whom the Bell Tolls” recounts the trials of combat in the Spanish Civil War. “The Old Man and the Sea” gave Hemingway the Nobel Prize, set in the Caribbean Sea, recounts the battle of man with the sea.
This bearded hero would eventually go on to own homes in Key West Florida and outfitted his boat so he could patrol waters for any Nazi subs. This takes macho and manly beard style to a whole new level. If he could not live the life of an adventurous man, he would sit down and pen the story of one that was in his mind.Reaching Iconic Status
By now you can see that this bearded writer didn’t just look the part, he certainly lived the rugged manly lifestyle we all imagine when we think of guys with long flowing beards. Hemingway would go on to earn the 1953 Pulitzer Prize in literature, but his adventures with the outdoors had just begun.
During one of his many African safaris, it was reported Hemingway was dead after two airplane crashes. Hemingway survived, despite many severe internal and spine injuries. He even suffered a concussion, but this had no effect on slowing the legend down.
When Hemingway read his obituary notice in the newspaper, he noted that the writing was quite favorable. The bearded mastermind may have slipped the grips of death many times, it would only prove that he was unwilling to allow his life to end on anyone’s terms but his own.The Man Becomes Legend
During the late 50s and early 60s, Hemingway was plagued by illnesses that would send any other man to the local hospital to be placed under hourly surveillance. Although he did, in fact, survive two separate plane crashes, he was dealing with skin cancer, hepatitis, pneumonia, a ruptured kidney, a ruptured spleen, anthrax, malaria, depression, high blood pressure, and several broken vertebrae.
This old man did not allow any outside forces dictate his life, as he would go on to write some of his best novels and receive his highest awards later in life. Ernest Hemingway died the way he lived the majority of his life, according to his own terms.
His legendary beard was unable to save him when he decided to write the final chapter of his life on July 2, 1961, when he ended his historic life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Only Hemingway himself knew why this chapter of his life ended this way, a secret he would take to the grave and cement his status as one of the manliest men to walk the earth. While many suspected depression was the cause and may have been due to a genetic abnormality, many choose to just imagine this rebel blazing new trails somewhere in the afterlife.
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Our BOOK OF THE WEEK at Lachesis Publishing is The Accidental Witch by Jessica Penot (paranormal with romantic elements). It’s funny, scary, clever, and features a heroine that you will just love to bits.
WHERE YOU CAN GET IT:
What it’s about:
Phaedra Michaels is a small town psychologist who is beginning to lose hope. Two of her patients at the local hospital in Dismal, Alabama have just killed themselves, she’s still reeling from her divorce and what turned out to be a disastrous marriage, and her father has died, leaving her without any notion of who her real mother is.
Just as Phaedra decides to commit herself to a serious drinking problem and an eating disorder, or two, a mysterious spell book arrives in the mail. Feeling desperate, Phaedra uses it to cast spells to save her fading patients. Suddenly, good things start happening. Phaedra’s patients begin to get better and she even starts dating the sexy doctor from the hospital.
Phaedra is so happy she doesn’t notice the small things that start to go wrong in Dismal, or the dark creatures slithering out of the shadows near her house. When Phaedra finally realizes her spells have attracted every card-carrying demon from hell, she has no choice but to accept help from a slightly nerdy, 500 year-old warlock with a penchant for wearing super hero T-shirts and a knack for getting under Phaedra’s skin. Now, if only she could get the hang of this witch thing, she might be able to save her town.
I carefully pulled the twine and the brown paper fell off. Beneath the paper was a large, leather bound book. It looked like an old journal or recipe book. It was tied together with a red ribbon and the ribbon held numerous pieces of paper. I ran my hands over the smooth leather and read the title of the book. It simply said Spells.
I laughed and pulled the red ribbon that held the book together. The book fell open. Inside, it was like a recipe book a mother would pass on to a daughter. There were old typed pages with handwritten notes in the margins. There were pages added with handwritten spells on them and drawings.
“What the hell?” I said as I leafed through the old book. There were potions and summoning spells and candle spells. In-between pages, there were pressed flowers and herbs and some of the pages were stained with old candle wax.
I set the book down and went into the kitchen and opened the fridge. At least the kitchen was done. It looked like any other modern kitchen. It had granite counter tops and marble floors. I’d spared no expense making it look like something that belonged in an old southern mansion. I wanted the house to be perfect and I had Johnny Boy’s money to help me achieve that dream. The lights flickered when I entered. I would have to talk to Lawson about that in the morning. I took a beer out of the fridge and opened it. I had a sip and grabbed a roll of cookie dough. Armed with the cookie dough and beer, I returned to the book. It had fallen off the counter, to the floor, and was opened to a page. I laughed again. The page it had opened to was love spells. That was just what I needed.
I sat down and ate and drank and leafed through the book. I stopped at a page with an interesting picture on it. The spell was an awakening spell. It awakened you to the supernatural world. I hesitated and looked at the script around it.
Something fell upstairs and the lights went out. I fumbled around and found the nearest flashlight and switched it on just as the lights flickered back on.
“Lawson, you asshole,” I said as I turned the flashlight off. “The wiring is done in the parlor, my ass.”
A sudden wave of fatigue washed over me and I picked up my mess and carted my sorry butt upstairs. I climbed into bed with my flashlight. I still had the book of spells. It had been so long since someone had given me something that I had forgotten what it felt like. I knew the book was more than weird. It bordered on creepy. A normal woman would probably burn the damn thing, but I wasn’t a normal woman. I was a lonely divorcée living in a house known to be haunted, but I loved it the way most people love their pets. I was the daughter of a man who had made it clear that he loathed me, with a step-mother who’d bought me toilet paper for Christmas. The creepy book was wonderful to me. It meant that someone out there, even if they were a freak, cared about me, and freak love was better than no love at all.
OUR BOOK OF THE WEEK is the romantic suspense novel Deadly Secrets by Leeann Burke (a.k.a. LeeAnn Lessard – your publisher at Lachesis Publishing 🙂 And it’s one of our .99 cent deals! You can get it here. Lachesis Publishing donates a portion of the sales of Deadly Secrets are donated to the American Breast Cancer Foundation and Leeann donates her royalties of the sales to Deadly Secrets to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Philippe Lafrance is a well known reclusive writer whose life is suddenly thrown upside down when the grandfather he never knew existed, dies. He investigates the reason and learns that his family has kept secrets from him. Deep, ugly secrets. Worse, a killer is murdering the men in his family. He discovers that his father, then his grandfather, were murdered by someone desperate to keep secrets buried.
Bereft, Roxanne St-Clair is left to manage a restaurant when the only person who ever mattered to her, her foster parent and mentor, is murdered. She puts her life on hold to find his killer and bring him to justice.
Thrown together by circumstance and a mutual goal, Philippe and Roxanne fight their attraction and team up to find the killer, bring him to justice and unearth the truth. To stay alive, they must keep one step ahead of the assassin in order to prevent him from killing his next target, Philippe.
Will they succeed in bringing to justice this killer before Philippe becomes his next victim? Will they be able to deal with the truth behind the deadly secrets?
A cold September breeze whipped at the fallen leaves near where she stood in front of the mahogany coffin. Roxanne St-Clair‘s curly long strands of hair were blown into her eyes. Unconsciously, she tucked them behind her ear as she glanced over at the lone man standing across the coffin from her. She turned her attention back to Father Joe, who was completing prayers for the final farewell of George Lafrance.
From his dark well-cut suit to his cold green eyes, this stranger, who resembled George, had to be the estranged grandson, Philippe Lafrance. The grandson no one knew existed until a few days ago.
Father Joe closed his bible and lowered his head in silent prayer. Roxanne took this moment to caress George‘s mahogany coffin in her own final private farewell. She would forever be grateful and indebted to the compassionate man.
Ten years ago, he‘d given her a chance at a better life when he took her in, becoming her last foster parent, her only family.
Father Joe straightened and cleared his throat. “Before we leave, I wish to take this opportunity, on behalf of George‘s family, to invite everyone back to Rock Heaven, and toast George one last time.” He gave a curt nod to the stranger, then to Roxanne.
People nodded, mumbled and began to scatter. Roxanne accepted the odd condolence but from the corner of her eye she watched Philippe linger by his grandfather‘s coffin. It looked as if he were saying his own farewell.
He raised his head, and their eyes connected for a fleeting moment. Was it sadness she saw in their depths? Quickly, he masked his angry jade eyes with aloofness. He acknowledged her with a curt nod, turned around and left without a backward glance.
Her best friend, Vanessa, leaned towards her. “You know Roxanne, in all the years I‘ve known George, I never heard him mention a word about a grandson. He talked about losing his son to a heart attack and his wife to breast cancer, but not a word about a grandson. It‘s kind of weird, don‘t you think?”
Against her own better judgment, Roxanne wondered as well.
The grandson had inherited George‘s build, from his broad shoulders and trim waist to chiseled face. The only difference was, George never made her heart flutter with a fleeting eye contact; his grandson did. She tore her gaze from Philippe‘s retreating back and turned her attention back to Vanessa. ―He must have had his reasons.‖
As if reading Roxanne‘s mind, Vanessa acknowledged her. “He does resemble George, don‘t you think?”
“I bet that‘s the only thing he has in common with George.” Roxanne couldn‘t help but stare at Philippe crossing between the cemetery gates. He reached a blue Toyota, unlocked the driver‘s door and slipped in.
Crime and mystery lovers will be flocking to Toronto next week for Bouchercon 2017, the biggest mystery authors convention happening October 12-14, 2017. With that in mind, I spoke with Alison Bruce, the new Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) to see what wonderful events they have planned for Bouchercon, about her new role as ED of the CWC and her much anticipated second book in her Men in Uniform Series.
LB: Can you tell us a little about CWC and what the association does on behalf of crime and mystery writers?
AB: CWC is a national non-profit organization for Canadian mystery and crime writers, associated professionals, and others with a serious interest in Canadian crime writing. Our mission is to promote Canadian crime writing and to raise the profile of Canadian crime writers with readers, reviewers, librarians, booksellers, and media.
Our most important means of fulfilling our mission is our website: Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) . Through the website, readers around the world can find out about our member authors, their books, and their events, as well as what CWC as a whole is doing as an organization and within the larger community.
Through our free monthly public newsletter Crime Beat, subscribers access Author Events and Cool Canadian Crime – our catalogue of our members’ published books, updated quarterly – which are also available directly through the website, and they can get updates on our Arthur Ellis Awards as well as what CWC is doing at events like Word on the Street and Bouchercon.
For authors interested in what we do, I suggest checking out Member Benefits because the list is too long to include here.
LB:How has the CWC evolved as an organization and what does that mean for you and your new role as Executive Director?
AB: One of the strengths of CWC has been its ability and willingness to adapt. My new role as Executive Director is a great example of this. My predecessors played to their strengths and so will I. One of my strengths has been my past involvement with most aspects of the organization. As well as being the Publications Manager, I was the Arthur Ellis Awards Administrator and the ED’s deputy.
Now Ted Griffith is taking on the Arthur Ellis Awards mantle and I have a very able and personable Assistant Executive Director who will be sharing the administrative load so I can continue to be hands on in the publications and website development. We are already discovering where our skills complement each other and I am looking forward to us teaming up for the benefit of CWC.
LB: How did you first become involved with the Crime Writers of Canada (CWC)?
AB: This is one of my favorite CWC stories. It was just after my dad died and for the first time in years, I was able to get to Word on the Street in Toronto. At the time I had an urban fantasy and a mystery novel making the rounds of the publishers so I was on the lookout for professional organizations that I could join. I knew about the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association and found them first, but they didn’t take unpublished authors. A couple of tables over, I discovered Crime Writers of Canada. Not only did they welcome associate members, they had a new category in their awards for unpublished first novels. I joined on the spot.
That year I was longlisted for the Unhanged Arthur Award, I got involved as a volunteer on the board and later went on to become the Publications Manager.
LB: Bouchercon 2017 is taking place October 12-14 in Toronto, can you tell us a little about the event?
AB: Bouchercon is run by the World Mystery Convention, a non-profit, all-volunteer organization. It is named in honor of Anthony Boucher, mystery fiction critic, editor, and author. It is held in a different North American city every year and this year is it being held in Toronto.
It is huge! There will be around 1600 people attending, including fans of crime fiction, along with published authors, aspiring writers, librarians, large and small publishers, editors, agents, and booksellers. There will be panels and special events, exhibitions and a dealers room, and CWC will be part of the excitement.
I’m excited. It’s my first Bouchercon and I’ll be in the thick of things.
LB: How will CWC be participating in this event?
AB: On Friday night, CWC will be hosting a crime-themed pub quiz. All day Saturday we’ll be sponsoring the Refreshment Room. We’ll also have a CWC table outside the dealer’s room where we will be able to sign up new members, and getting those who don’t want to join us but would like our free monthly newsletter CRIME BEAT. Each venue is a great opportunity to get our authors and readers together.
With the impressive list of panels, tours, and authors, what are you most looking forward to at Bouchercon 2017?
I’m going to be relaxed about the panels. There’s so much to choose from and I will be mostly there to work so I reckon I’ll play it by ear. Who knows who I’ll be meeting for coffee?
In addition to being the Executive Director of CWC, you are also an accomplished mystery author. Your book “A Bodyguard to Remember”, the first title in the Men in Uniform Series featured the unforgettable heroine Prudence Hartley. Will readers get the chance to see Pru again?
There is a book two or my publisher would kill me. Book 2 of Men in Uniform will see Pru Hartley getting thrown into the deep end of trouble because of a house guest her ex-husband foists on her. My working title is “Something the Ex Dragged In.”
What other work do you have coming out now?
I have a new book coming out soon. It’s a novel I wrote before Men in Uniform and then forgot about for a while. I’m hoping it will be out in time for Bouchercon so I can read from it at “20 on 20” (twenty minutes with an author every twenty minutes).
I know you have a lot going on with your new role and getting ready for Bouchercon but in the midst of all the chaos what is your guilty pleasure? I am assuming its loads of coffee!
I don’t feel the least bit guilty about drinking coffee. That would be like a car feeling guilty for needing gas. My guilty pleasure is having a treat with my coffee. ******
Now that is something I can also relate to! For anyone interested in attending Bouchercon 2017, the event details and links are below.
When: October 12-15th 2017
Registration Link: http://bouchercon2017.com/registration/
Alison Bruce writes history, mystery, and suspense. Her books combine clever mysteries, well-researched backgrounds and a touch of romance. Her protagonists are marked by their strength of character, sense of humor and the ability to adapt (sooner or later) to new situations. Four of her novels have been finalists for genre awards.
Copywriter, editor and graphic designer since 1992, Alison has also been a comic book store manager, small press publisher, and web designer. Currently, she is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada.
Ludvica Boota is currently in the publishing program at Ryerson University and is an intern at Lachesis Publishing Inc. Prior to her studies, she worked in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Her most adventurous experience was working for the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital in Dublin Ireland, where she was employed as a project officer but was never asked to deliver a baby. Ludvica holds an MBA from the University of Victoria and a B.Com from Carleton University.
When she’s not daydreaming about her next travel adventure, and perhaps her own HEA, she is usually immersed in a romance novel.
“Shapeshifters: Weretigers, Werevultures, Werewolves. Why write about them? Maybe, I was ONE in another place . . . another time.” ~ the late A.B. Wallace
Our BOOK OF THE WEEK is the paranormal/shapeshifter mystery VINTAGE BLOOD AND THE SACRED SCEPTERS by A.B. Wallace.
Proceeds from sales of VINTAGE BLOOD have been donated to the American Breast Cancer Foundation (ABCF) since A.B. Wallace’s passing from breast cancer, and will continue to be donated for the duration of this book’s publication.
“The American Breast Cancer Foundation’s (ABCF) mission is to provide financial assistance for breast cancer screenings and diagnostic tests for uninsured and underserved individuals, regardless of age or gender.” ~ ABCF
A.B. Wallace’s paranormal mystery VINTAGE BLOOD AND THE SACRED SCEPTERS was released in 2004 by LBF books (now Lachesis Publishing). The book is available in both e-book formats and print format.
A.B. WALLACE was born in Italy but grew up in the United States. She studied Sociology at St. Peter’s College, Jersey City, NJ, and worked as a Case Worker for the Hudson County Division of Welfare in Jersey City. She then held several administrative positions with the Federal Government in Washington DC. She made her home in Virginia with her beloved husband before she passed away from breast cancer.
“AB Wallace is perhaps one of the most gripping modern-day storytellers. If you are not reading Wallace you are missing out.” ~ Diana Bennett ~ Midwest Book Review,
Brit Chambers, a gutsy Werecreature Consultant, has taken on the job of discovering the means by which to destroy the Sacred Scepters before a werecreature assassin finds them and uses them to rid the world of magic. But she has another problem to rid herself of as well–she has become Lord Daison’s personal blood bank thanks to her best friend, a weretiger.
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