Monthly Archives: September 2012

Surprise winners of Without a Hitch by Andrew Price!


If you have been waiting to know who won a copy of:

then this is the post to satisfy that curiosity. I’m pleased to inform you that EVERYONE who left a comment won a copy, thanks to the generosity of the author, Andrew Price.

Congratulations to: Erik (who won it for his mom), Sharon, Faith, and Sheila. Andrew said your books will be in the mail soon.

Comments from our winners:

Erik: That is very nice that Mr. Price made us all winners.
Sharon: well, yea!! THANKS!!
Faith: WAY COOL!!!  A big thanks to Andrew Price.
Sheila: My thanks to you and the very generous Mr. Price! I’m looking forward to reading this book!

Thank you for entering the draw, this is always fun for me. You never know what fun surprise might happen when you take a chance. 🙂

Thank you, Andrew, and we wish you much future success. I, for one, am looking forward to reading more of your books.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂




Interview with Andrew Price & book giveaway

I am delighted to introduce to you Andrew Price, the author of the exciting, new crime fiction novel Without a Hitch. Andrew has a blog where you can comment, and a website for Without a Hitch, where I know that – after you read his book – he would love it if you visit and leave a comment about it, or maybe about this interview.  You can also check out his Amazon page for more information about him or his books, or write him at andrewpricebooks (at) .

If you didn’t read my review of Without a Hitch you can find it here. Now on with our interview —

Andrew, I am pleased to be interviewing you. To start things off, please tell us a little about yourself.

Thanks, Lynn.  I’ve been a practicing attorney for seventeen years now and I’ve done a bit of everything in that time.  I worked for the government, for large firms, and finally struck out on my own.  I’ve spent most of that time litigating. 

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? Who or what inspired you? or discouraged you?

I think the first time I knew I wanted to write was in eighth grade when I realized that I wasn’t very satisfied with a lot of the films I was seeing and I wanted to see if I could do better.  But I never did more than dabble until a few years ago.  So in a way, I was inspired by the films that frustrated me. 🙂 

As a writer, do you do much reading? Who were/are your favourite authors or books?

Believe it or not, I don’t read much anymore because I do so much reading professionally that it’s hard to sit down and read for fun.  In the past, however, I’ve done my best to work my way through the classics.  I did that when I realized that I wasn’t well read, so I set out to change that.  My favorite authors are Tolkien and Shakespeare.

Have you ever felt like giving up? When did you finally believe in yourself so you can say “I am a writer”?

Nope.  I started writing “Without A Hitch” to prove to myself that I could do it, and as I got into it, I found that I loved the process.  I loved the idea of creating this world and these characters.  So I’ve never wanted to quit.

On being a writer, in an odd way, I’ve always seen myself as a writer because that’s been something I was good at throughout my education and my professional career.  But in terms of seeing myself as a professional writer, I still don’t feel that.  To me, it still feels like a hobby. 

Do you have a motto or Bible verse or quote that you try to live by and that helps to keep you going?

Live and let live. 

What do you remember about your very first time to be published, how did that happen?

I self-published, so it’s been a bit of a different experience because I’ve done most of it myself.  What I remember most though was when people started sending me e-mails telling me their theories about my characters.  It was really great to hear that these people had been so affected by the book that they kept thinking about it even after they finished reading it. 

What have you had published thus far? Of those, what do/did you most enjoy writing?

So far, I’ve only published two legal thrillers (“Without A Hitch” and “Wrongful Death”), but I’m dying to write some science fiction. 

What process do you go through when writing and perfecting a book or article?

I’m more of an editor than a writer when it comes to writing, so I start with an outline and then try to get the book done in a rough form.  To me, that’s when the writing begins as I go through the book and edit it until I get it where I like it.  That often means completely re-writing the whole thing eight or nine times, but I find I’m much happier editing it to where I want it than trying to write it the way I want it the first time.  I also find this helps me understand the characters better because I know their story from start to finish before I start tweaking their dialog and their quirks.  The downside, of course, is that you get so deeply into individual parts of the book that it’s easy to lose perspective, so I often step away for a few weeks so the story is fresh to me again when I take another pass at it. 

What inspired you to write Without a Hitch?

I used to read a lot of legal thrillers by guys like John Grisham.  Being a lawyer, I always found myself scratching my head at how completely unrealistic these books were.  That drove me crazy.  One day I decided I wanted to see if I could write my own legal thriller while following a set of rules that prevented me from doing the things I consider cheating in other legal thrillers – like letting the reader into the protagonist’s mind for most of the story but then withholding that access to create suspense, or using ludicrous legal procedures or solving plot problems with lucky coincidences.  I wanted to see if I could avoid all of that and still write a good story.  That was my goal. 

How long did it take you to write Without a Hitch? Did you have to do any research? And how did you come up with that title?

It took me nine months to write “Without A Hitch” and another year to decide I wanted to try publishing it.  I originally just wrote it to see if I could do it without intending to publish it, but then an author friend convinced me to publish it.  In terms of research, no, I didn’t really do any research because this book is based on things and people I’ve encountered in my profession.  I actually have no idea where the title came from, it just came to me one day.

It’s a great title, very fitting.  Did you write a little of yourself into any of the characters? Do you have a favourite?

There are pieces of me in several characters.  The hard part was making sure I used different parts of me in the different characters because I wanted each to be an individual and not just a reflection of me.  In fact, one of the things I wanted to do was to let the characters act the way they really would according to their own personalities, rather than forcing them to act according to the plot idea I had.  Several times, this led to the characters simply refusing to do what I needed and I had to write around that, but it made the story better.

My favorite character is actually Molly.  I have a lot of sympathy for her. 

When you wrote Without a Hitch, did you have any concerns about having your characters using profanity?

Yes and no.  Yes, in the sense that in my experience, profanity is a substitute for good writing.  Too often, people who don’t know how to convey what they want to convey will use profanity as a way to create tension or emotion.  I certainly didn’t want to fall into that category – plus I don’t personally use profanity in real life because it just strikes me as rude.  But then I realized that I needed to be true to these characters and some of them, in my experience as a lawyer, simply talk this way.  Beaumont, for example, is very, very typical of what you find in the criminal justice system.

My second book, “Wrongful Death” has a lot less profanity because the characters in that book aren’t the same type of people who would use profanity.  And I expect that there would be none in my science fiction books. 

It felt as if you planted leads into another book – examples: the ending (for sure!), the “mystery man” (new guy in office). I see such potential there for a follow-up book. Have you considered writing a series or a sequel to Without a Hitch?

When I originally wrote “Without A Hitch,” I had no thoughts of a sequel.  I did think it might be interesting to write another story involving Molly, but I really didn’t think there was room for a sequel involving Corbin.  But since I’ve published the book, I’ve gotten about a dozen requests for a sequel and, the more I think about it, the more I am intrigued by the idea.  It won’t be my next book, but I am very much thinking of writing a sequel.

I look forward to it! How did you go about finding a publisher? an editor? did you consider getting an agent? And why did you decide to not go the traditional publishing route?

Originally, I didn’t even think of publishing.  I just wanted to see if I could write the book.  Then an author friend of mine read it and convinced me to publish it.  I started looking for an agent and even spoke with a couple, but then I came across a series of contracts with professional publishers and I saw that they really didn’t do anything for their authors.  Under these contracts, I would do the work, I would promote the book, and if I was successful, they would benefit.  That seemed like a bad deal to me.  So if I was going to do it all myself anyway, I decided I would rather work for myself and see what happened.  So far, I’m quite pleased. 

Do you have a job to go to every day? 

Sadly, yes.  I still do the lawyer thing, though I’ve stopped litigating to save my sanity. 

What other interests do you have for a change from writing?

I write a political blog and a film blog – which take way too much time.  I also love watching football. 

How do you consistently write? Do you have writing goals – daily? weekly? monthly? long-range?

I do write every day, but I can’t force myself to write a certain number of pages or hours.  I’ve learned my mind simply won’t do that and I’ll end up writing garbage.  So I basically take what I can get out of my brain whenever it’s willing to give it. 

Do you have another project in the works? Any hints you can share with our readers about that?

I’ve got too many projects in the works! LOL!  One of the problems I run into is that when I write something all these ideas for other projects come to me!  Right now though, I’m working on two science fiction books.  One is a spaceship/alien sort of story and the other is something I always wanted to try:  a science fiction comedy.  After that, I plan to do another legal thriller about an attorney at a big firm who gets brought onto a rape case and doesn’t know if their client is guilty or innocent. 

Finally, is being a writer/author all you had hoped or thought it would be? Do you have any advice for hopefuls?

It’s so much more than I expected!  I absolutely love it.  My advice would be to love the process of creating the world and the characters.  Everything else will follow when it becomes real to you.

That is great advice! Thank you, Andrew, for this enjoyable and interesting interview. 🙂

Thanks for the interview! 🙂

Now, my book-loving friends, author Andrew Price has kindly agreed to mail a copy of Without a Hitch to one of you who leaves a comment here about something that stood out to you in this interview.  You have until Tuesday, September 25 at 7 PM EST to get your comment in. Then one name will be drawn out of the basket and I will contact the winner via email. So, add your comment and then watch your email on Tuesday!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Without a Hitch – by Andrew Price

Without a Hitch - Andrew PriceBook: Without a Hitch
Author: Andrew Price
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Date: June 4, 2012
Genre: legal thriller
Pages: 408; paperback
Price: $12.99 paperback, also on Kindle for less
My rating: Riveting, suspenseful, tense, well worth the breathlessness

At first I wasn’t sure about reading a thriller, but I decided to take a chance on Without a Hitch. Once I got into this story there was no turning back. The author, Andrew Price, cleverly caught and held my attention from the first page onward.

This debut novel is about two lawyers who concoct a scheme to get rich, not exactly legally. Well, actually – not legally at all. That’s where the trouble starts, and it builds to such a heightened point of stress that I had to walk away a few times to breathe. Really.

Having said that, don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed this book almost completely. I say ‘almost’, because of some of the language. If you have been following my reviews, then you know I hate the “f’ word, and this story is riddled with it in certain scenes. What makes it work is that the characters, one in particular, would use that speech if he were a real person living the life created for him by the author. Because I couldn’t bear to not know what was going to happen, I stuck with it. In fact, because of the suspense and effectively building tension, it was with difficulty that I did not skip ahead to find out some things before reading through. I made myself wait so as not to spoil the read.

There are several necessary characters (even a mystery man) created by Andrew – not all playing leading roles in this story, but important – in different capacities – to its forward motion and edginess. They also add to the drama and suspense, enough to keep the reader wondering and reading. They are so real-to-life I could visualize them, hear them, and identify with them in some of their behaviour. The dialogue is accurate, amusing, annoying – and playful when in the flirtatious scenes. The reader may even think, “I know someone like that.”

Because Andrew Price has inside knowledge of the legal field, having worked in various capacities for nearly two decades, he was able to write a story that is believable and enjoyable to read. His characters stay with the reader, and the ending he came up with made me say, “Huh?” I had to go back and reread the last page a few times, studying it for clues. It’s an ending that leaves you guessing and thinking about quite awhile after you lay down the book as ‘finished.’

I believe there is a series developing. And I want to follow it through, it’s that good.

You can find Without a Hitch listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Watch for an upcoming interview with Andrew Price, author of Without a Hitch. There will be a copy of Without a Hitch for one person who leaves a comment after the interview.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Watching Jimmy – by Nancy Hartry

Book: Watching Jimmy
Author: Nancy Hartry
Publisher: Tundra Books
Date: September 11, 2012 (reprint edition)
Genre: Historical Fiction for young people (age 9 and up)
Pages: 160; paperback
Price: $9.95
My Rating: exciting and absorbing from start to finish

I received this book from Library Thing in exchange for an honest review.

This little book was a surprise. I knew it was coming, but I didn’t expect it to be so big for its size. By that I mean, this book may be small but it is jam-packed – in such a nice way.

Nancy Hartry grabbed my attention right away with how she began this tale. She set the scene in chapter one, then hit with a gut-wrenching punch in chapter two. Even so, this interesting – yet painful – story that’s easy to read, easy to follow, easy to understand, is hard to put down until the end. And once there it evokes a satisfied sigh and leaves the reader thinking it all over.

Carolyn and Jimmy were best friends. When Jimmy got hurt, Uncle Ted’s story was that he fell off the swing. What nobody knows is that Carolyn saw the whole thing, but who can she tell? And what good would it do?

This story is set in 1958, after World War II, during a time of struggle and recovery in Canada, a historical time that will change the nation. Nancy Hartry writes in a way that illuminates that era without the reader realizing there is a history lesson being presented.

This book is well worth the read. It is very believable and captures the reader for a step back in time to learn what life in Canada was like then, and what it means to be courageous, dedicated, and truthful.

Watching Jimmy by Nancy Hartry was a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People, and the Ontario Library Association’s Golden Oak Award.

If you enjoy historical fiction you will certainly appreciate Watching Jimmy by Nancy Hartry.

You can find Watching Jimmy listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Baby elephant rescue!

I love elephants.

Elephants are magnificent, intelligent, amazing animals.

For a very long time I have thought I would love to have my own elephant, but alas! the darling creature would eat us into poverty, I’m afraid.

Yesterday I came across this YouTube video that I know will help you see more of how wonderful and intelligent they really are.  Enjoy.

After watching this I got thinking about the parallel of family and fellowships and writing. If we are fortunate, we can find ourselves surrounded by those who care about us, who love us and watch out for us, encouraging us when we need it. And if we are very fortunate, some of those will be of “like-mind”, enjoying and participating in the same things that interest us.

That, for me now, is writing. If you are a writer and have friends and acquaintances who also are writers, who understand your highs and lows in the process, who are willing to stand by you when you get mired in life stuff or writing woes of anxiety or the agony of writer’s block, then you are truly blessed. If you have someone who is stalwart in seeing you get out of that hard place, then you .. my friend .. have a rich and beautiful gift. Appreciate it.

What does this video speak to you? Does it parallel anything in your life?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂


When is a writer not a writer? (pity party alert)

My apologies right off the top for a dreary post.

My question is: When is a writer not a writer?  No, this is not a riddle. Then maybe again it is … but I have no real answer for it. Maybe you do?

I’m tired. No, let me say that again … I’m so tired.

And I don’t feel particularly creative. My well is low – on motivation, energy, inspiration, ideas, stamina. Maybe it’s because I’m tired. And a little discouraged. And feeling a bit forgotten. Now, is that a great menu for a pity party, or what!

My creative well is rather plugged up with stuff, such as – lack of quality sleep (aware all the time while “on duty”, then at home it’s hard to relax from that), caregiving concerns (situation is getting more involved as Alzheimer’s gets worse), always trying to balance two households (but not knowing enough about my own anymore)

physical pain (more since I had a fall a week ago, so add to the list an x-ray tomorrow AM), seeming to be invisible when it comes to the fellowship I was part of (probably “out of sight out of mind” because I seldom get there now), not having much interaction with writers (really need an ‘anytime chat’ place), needing a vacation (every second week at my own home is not a vacation), missing the ocean (my healing place), I have books to read and reviews to write (love doing both, time is a factor), I’m WAY behind in my emails and blog (many other demands and concerns),

and —

I hate that I sound like such a whiner!

Of course, my sister also has her own set of life stuff going on along with our caregiving commitment. It’s always interesting!

Okay, I need a hug. Where is my grandson when I need him?

There must be an up side to all this. Yes, of course there is.

  • 1. Our loved one gets to stay in his own home for as long as we can help him.
  • 2. We get the privilege of honouring him through giving of our time for him.
  • 3. My sister and I are learning as we go while also learning to work together to make a stressful situation workable.
  • 4.  We have fibre optics here! 😉
  • 5. …  hmm     5. … ?

I’m sure there’s more to add but right now I can’t think of it. (Was that you I heard say, “Good!”) This has been a writing exercise for me if nothing else, and hopefully my next post will be more upbeat after the tropical storm and hurricane pass tonight and tomorrow.

By the way, I don’t believe it’s writer’s block that’s got me in this place, it’s weariness and life stuff. Otherwise I could take some tips from my own Writer’s Helps page. 🙂

In the meantime, can you answer my question? When is a writer not a writer? What do you do when you not only can’t come up with ideas but you hardly are interested in trying?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂