While fall doesn’t officially arrive for a few weeks, when the calendar flips over to September it somehow feels like summer has passed the baton to the next season. In this newsletter, I have a few updates on what’s happening with The Woodcarver’s Model, opportunities to get a signed copy of the book, and what I’m working on right now.
Signed copies of The Woodcarver’s Model are now available both in Toronto and in the Calgary. If you live in or near Toronto, you can pick up a signed copy of the book at Queen Books. Stock is limited, so check their website, or phone to reserve a copy in advance at 416-778-5053.
For those who are in the Calgary area, a small stock of signed books can be found at Shelf Life Books. Check online to see number of copies, or phone in advance at (403) 265-1033. I’ll keep you posted on other independent bookstores who may be carrying the book in the future.
Reviews continue to accumulate, with 30 reviews on Amazon.com and almost 50 reviews on Goodreads. The book still has an average rating of over 4 stars on all of the sites. Reviews are a critical part of helping new readers determine what they will purchase. So it’s heartening to see a 5 star review like the one below posted just the other day by a reader on both Amazon and Goodreads.
This is a stunning and thrilling story, it starts off with a bang, then lulls us into a sense of calm, but slowly, oh so slowly, the tension rises and off we go again. A great plot, the inhabitants of the island are a mixed lot, some friendly, some a bit loopy, but all very protective of their island, their home, and all hell breaks loose when developers come sniffing around. This seems to be the first fiction from this author, I’ll be following on Goodreads and hope we get more thrilling reads soon.
Huge thanks to those that have already reviewed the book. If you’ve read the book and want to share your opinion, please review The Woodcarver’s Model on Goodreads or Amazon. The links are below. Every review makes a big difference. A new review on Goodreads can reactivate interest in readers who put the book on their list of books to read in April, but have forgotten about it. And Amazon reviews have been shown to directly link to sales.
Even if you can’t review on Amazon or Goodreads, you can share a post on social media that you read the book and enjoyed it. Spreading the word is a huge help to getting the story to more readers.
To review on Amazon.com click here.
To review on Amazon.ca click here.
To review on Amazon.co.uk click here.
And if you have a Goodreads account, you can go to this link and leave a review by clicking here.
Revisions and Rewrites On The New Book
While Pride Publishing was preparing my first novel for publication, I was already writing on a new book which is tentatively called Mann Hunt. A first draft of the book was finished by early May and I put it past first readers for feedback. That feedback is now being used to revise (and in some cases rewrite) the book before submitting it to the editor. The book is a mystery with a romance at the core. Plotting a mystery novel is different in many ways. I like to start with the crime and the cast of characters and their motives for committing the crime. Then I string a plot together in reverse. I thought I would share a small excerpt from one of the opening chapters that introduces one of the two main characters Declan Hunt and the situation that leads him to meet the other central character Charlie Watts.
Joan Beckerman unlocked the street-level door of the office, picked up the mail that had come through the slot, and began the slow walk up the flight of stairs to the second floor. She wasn’t sure which creaked louder, the wooden steps or her sixty-eight year old knees. She turned the key in the lock and entered the outer office.
Mrs B, as Joan was known in the office, occupied the only desk in the main reception room, along with a couple of comfortable chairs, a couch, and a coffee table with “up-to-date” magazines to ensure that no one would confuse this with a doctor’s office. She loved this room. It was warm and comfortable. Large, mullioned windows let light pour in from the street. The walls were a deep red-brown brick—rare for a building in Calgary where most old structures were wood-framed. And the floors—wide planked wood, worn by the feet of a thousand people over the seventy year history of this building. It wasn’t old by international standards, but here in Calgary, it was a grand old dame.
She dropped the mail on her desk. It was a couple of bills, and an envelope, probably containing a payment—she recognized the return address of the elderly man who had hired them to look for his missing brother. They’d found him buried legally in Queen’s Park Cemetery.
Before she would deal with any of these matters, coffee had to be made. Without coffee, her brain didn’t function properly.
As she waited for the coffee to finish brewing, Mrs B organized her desk for the day. She was, undeniably, an organized woman. As the sole employee of Declan Hunt Investigations, aside from Declan, she was responsible for dealing with the clients, maintaining Declan’s schedule, billing, and whatever else was required to keep the company going. And for that, organization was the key to success.
The coffee maker beeped, letting her know that caffeine was mere moments away. She returned to her desk, coffee in hand—black, two sugars—and sorted the contents of the envelopes. The bills went into one pile, the payment from the man in search of his brother, in a second stack. She noticed that the payment also included a note—’Seeing as how you found my brother deceased, and now of no use to me, I see little reason to pay you the full amount demanded. Enclosed you will find a cheque for half your bill.’ Mrs B let out a sigh. She wanted today to go smoothly.
She heard the street door to the office open, followed by the sound of heavy footsteps on the stairs. The office door opened and in walked a man in a long, dirty coat. His face was unshaven and grimy. He walked with a limp.
“Good Lord, what the hell happened to you?”
Declan paused to look at her.
“Some people in this city have no respect for the homeless.”
As Declan straightened up his body he winced and grabbed his side.
“Can’t take a kick like I used to.”
She moved towards him. “Here. Let me help you.”
Mrs B got him up to his apartment, which occupied the third floor of the building. She helped him take off his coat and shirt.
“If it’s alright with you, I’ll chuck these into the wash,” she offered.
She looked at his strong chest and rippling stomach muscles. While attractive to many, they had no effect on her. The bruising, however—she pursed her lips and inhaled. “Oooo, that’s going to hurt tomorrow.”
She touched the area. Declan inhaled sharply.
“Oh, come on. I’ve seen you beat-up worse.”
“What—no sympathy for the guy who gets beaten just so you can get a pay cheque?”
“Stop your whining. Nothing appears to be broken.”
“You’re a harsh woman, Mrs B.”
She walked over to the fridge and took out an ice-pack which she wrapped in a tea towel and handed it to him. “Here. You know what to do.”
Then she went into his bathroom and returned with the first-aid kit.
“Take these,” she said, passing him a couple of pills. “Vitamin C might help lessen the bruising which, if I know my beatings, will be spectacular over the next few days. I’ll wrap you up to give you some support. But first…you’ve gotta go shower. You smell like you’ve spent the night in a dumpster.”
“Where do you think they threw me after they did this? It took me an hour to crawl out after I came to.”
Declan went into the washroom and had a shower. By the time he got out, Mrs B had laid out clothes for him on the bed. She returned with a coffee.
“It has sugar in it. I figured you could use the energy.”
He took it from her and had a sip. She stood there, trying to figure out how to break the news to him.
Declan smiled. “You’re a life saver. I don’t know what I’d do without you,” he said, as he eased himself down onto the edge of the bed.
Mrs B paused and then said, “Well, now that you mention it… I guess there’s no point in beating around the bush. You remember how I told you my daughter and her friend were going on a three week trip to South America?”
“Yeah, I think so,” Declan replied, taking another sip of his coffee.
“Well, it seems her friend tripped over her cat, and somehow fell out of her window—”
Declan laughed in mid-sip and the laugh manifested as a snort which shot the hot coffee up and out through his nose.
“Ow, ow, ow,” he cried.
“Luckily she lived on the second floor, so she only broke her leg. The girl is clearly an idiot.”
Declan mopped his face with his towel which Mrs B took from him and proceeded to use to clean the floor. As she got up she felt out of breath and steadied herself against a chair.
“Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. Anyway, I got a call from my daughter last night, all in tears because her trip, well, it was—look, she asked me to go with her in her friend’s place and I said yes.”
She stared at him, waiting for a reaction.
“Well, I couldn’t let her go on her own, could I?”
“And when does this happen?” Declan asked.
“I leave Sunday.”
“Sunday? Like this Sunday? Two days from now Sunday?”
“That would be Sunday. So, you’ll need to find a replacement for me for the time I’ll be away.”
“Well then,” he seemed to be piecing things together, “would you call a temp agency and see what they can do?”
“You’re not going to be using one of those companies. They charge an arm and a leg, and the poor temp only sees a fraction of it. Anyway, I’ve already placed an ad on one of those job-search websites. They’ll set up the interviews starting on Monday. No need to thank me. Now I’d better leave you to rest.”
She left Declan looking out the window with a slightly hurt look on his face. As she left she thought “He’ll get over it. It’s only three weeks.”
Book Signing In Toronto
I’m currently working on a date for a book signing. It will likely be done in a pub in Toronto in October. Those who have already purchased a book can come and share a drink and get their book signed, and those that haven’t gotten a book will be able to pre-order a copy for the day of the signing. Further details coming soon!
Thanks for reading, and I look forward to sharing more updates on the new book, further developments on The Woodcarver’s Model and upcoming events connected to my writing.
As a reward for reading this far, here’s a fun puzzle of the image at the top of this blog. To play simply click on the title of the book below. Have a super long weekend.
Peter E. Fenton
The Woodcarver’s Model is published through Pride Publishing.
To buy a copy click below