Taking a break.

I haven’t posted for a while, and I’m going to make this my last post for the foreseeable future. I had a brother pass away this summer from terminal cancer. A few days later, another brother was in a terrible cycling accident (fractured vertebrae, broken ribs, bleeding on the brain). He couldn’t move one foot for about a week, but thank God, he’s  recovering.

All of this happened while I was in the middle of the stress of renovating an investment condo, so it was pretty overwhelming.

I left for the cottage for a few days last weekend to take a breather and came back to find a huge tree in the back yard had come crashing down on the roof. I asked the tree service that came to remove it if they could trim my beloved birch in the front yard; they cut it down by mistake. Pretty heartbreaking.

So the operative word for this summer has been uncontrollable, unwelcome change, and  I’m finding it’s all a bit much. I’m at that point where I would like to just crawl into bed and wake up to find out that everything’s back to normal, but of course, that isn’t going to happen. On the book front, needless to say, the last thing I’ve had on my mind is writing, or doing book events. I’m tired.

So I’ll be suspending this blog for a few weeks or more. I  don’t have any news to report anyway. UMBRELLA MAN wasn’t the big break through novel we’d all hoped for. It’s had great reviews, but in this world,  it’s all about sales. Right now I don’t have the heart to do the marketing required to promote it. With everything on my plate at the moment, I just have to remind myself that in the big picture, it’s just a book.  I have other priorities to attend to.

I trust you all understand. Wish me luck; I could sure use some.

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Toronto Star review of Umbrella Man!

Jack Batten of the Toronto Star reviewed Umbrella Man in today’s paper, and here’s what he had to say: Nice!

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Nice end to a bleak week.

It’s been a rough week in many ways, and so it was nice to have a bit of good news for a change. Margaret Cannon reviewed Umbrella Man  in The Globe and Mail book section today. Here’s what she had to say:

Peggy Blair’s Inspector Ramirez series gets better with every book. An Ottawa lawyer, Blair has a real knack for using her Havana setting, with its eccentricities born of necessity, as both a charming backdrop and a real guide to plot lines. This time out, Ramirez begins with a confrontation with Mama Loa. The witch doctor says people in the sky are going to die. Ramirez isn’t convinced. There hasn’t been a murder in Havana in weeks and who cares about clouds in the sky? When the prophecy kicks in (expertly done) there’s not just one, but several connected killings and yes, the sky is there, too. But this is no local curse or a shot of voodoo. This is plain old-fashioned KGB-CIA hit man-style killing. That makes it political, not personal, and Ramirez knows he’s on borrowed time.

I think I should get her to write my blurbs from now on! Thanks, Margaret!


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Talk about support!

Pretty nice to get a note from the Ontario AG congratulating me on the Ottawa Citizen review of UMBRELLA MAN! Thanks, Yasir!


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Nice Shout-out for UMBRELLA MAN!

My pal, Wayne Arthurson, was interviewed on the Candy Palmater show on CBC Radio and gave UMBRELLA MAN a nice shout-out!

Here’s the interview: give it a listen. And pick up a copy of Wayne’s new book, BLOOD RED SUMMER. It’s going to be a winner; has already hit Edmonton and Calgary’s best seller lists. (Did I mention Wayne is Canada’s only indigenous mystery writer?)



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Best news ever! Umbrella Man’s a Bestseller!


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First Review of #UmbrellaMan! #OttawaCitizen

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More Launch Pics! #Umbrella Man

These shots were taken by Graham Sibthorpe, who writes:

We certainly enjoyed the book launch and look forward to reading  Umbrella Man. The cookies and drinks added to the ambiance. I also met Vernissage photographers that I had not seen for a while and liked seeing their Cuba pictures. The piece de resistance was the arrival of the fully restored Thunderbird (unlike similar cars of the same era in Cuba!).

Those are great photos – thanks for sending them along, Graham!

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