Buttons! Buttons! Everywhere!

Buttons! Buttons! Everywhere!

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Wind, She is a Howling!

Just arrived back from Orlando where all the talk is about the Tropical Storm/Hurrican Isaac. I live it's supposed path, so after work it was time to batten down the hatches for the upcoming storm. I should be packing, yet again, for my journey to Portland, Oregon on Wednesday, but the winds will decide that journey for me.

Around here they say that the days following the storm will be spectacularly beautiful. But right now, I'm listening to banging as wood is being hammered in place over windows. It's my first tropical storm/ hurricane, so I have foolishly done nothing to prepare, except for making sure I have plenty of food, water, gas in the car and toilet paper.

The electricity is sure to go out from what I hear. The neighbors have whipped up a party and the music is blaring as they go from neighbor to neighbor helping each other prepare. I did go out and slap a rock on top of the hot tub cover and then pulled the flag down. Coming from Tornado Alley, I just can't imagine this being more than a windy, rainy couple of days.

So, my friends. Pray for me and pray for the many who will go though the winds that are blowing this way. And pray it will be over by next Saturday because I'm heading to Maine for a little R & R.

Thanks to my wonderful sister Sue, I'll be doing a reading from Run, River Currents at the Highlands Coffee House in Thomaston, Maine on Saturday, September 7! Well, that's if the winds dont blow me away!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Read all about it!

Just wanted you to let you know that a wonderful woman named Rachelle Ayala has posted a character interview with me on her blog. Run by and make a comment, won't you?


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saving the Boutique Bookstores...Palm Beach

I'm in Palm Beach. At the end of my workday, I'm ususally too tired to do anything more than forage for food and head to bed. Last night was no exception. I drove just a mile from the historic Breakers Hotel I'm staying in, just to get a break from the formal feeling here.

The hallways are marked with high golden arches and mosiacs that rival the Sistine Chaple in Rome. There's going to be a Hindu wedding here tomorrow, and tonight the guests for the 3-day event spill into the lobby in dresses that capture the rich mood of this hotel. Their jewels send sparkling designs darting across the tapestry walls. I watch as three women, hands freshly painted with ornate henna designs, giggle near the lobby door, their arms filled with gifts wrapped in giant, red velvet bows. I feel underdressed and bolt past them to my car.

I round the corner of the palm-lined avenue and am delighted to see a small restaurant whose street-side tables beckon me. It takes a moment to find parking, but a space opens up and I slide into it. I am a block away from the restaurant and make my way down the sidewalk, taking my time to paruse the shop windows I pass.

The Palm Beach Book Store captures my eye, it's big windows beckoning me inside. A quiet woman, with a wide, inviting smile greets me and apologizes for the emptiness of the small store. The room does seem as though it were inventory season. The remaining books stand lonesome, white space framing each book individually as though they were treasured pieces of art. And they are. It's off-season, she says. In the winter the bookstore is filled with people who stop for reccommendations and buy these wonderful books from the kind of people who know good literature. We chat for a time, about books and Kindles and publishing. The woman echoes the owner's fears of what seems to be happening with books. I hear in her voice that they feel bookstores may disappear altogether and I am saddened by the thought.

I own a Kindle as well. It's convienient, but I still have a NEED for the feel of a good book in my hands. I paruse small book stores to find the kind of literature that is appreciated by these owners. Sure, they carry the bestsellers, but usually I find the owners and staff to be so well read that they can reccommend books I will like, if I share with them the kinds of books I have come to enjoy! They are not teenage, non-readers collecting a paycheck at some mega-bookstore. They are true lovers of the written word.

When our conversation ends, I am lifted, hopeful, that people like me can move forward with the help of technology, but never abandon the richness or the knowledge of the people in these wonderful little bookstores. My hope is that other readers and writers will keep these stores alive, as they do in Palm Beach, by supporting their local bookstores.

Do you have a favorite bookstore, large or small? Why is it special to you?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Questions for Crime Writer, Michael J McCann

Welcome to my interview with Michael J MCann, Canadian Crime Writer and author of the Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel series, including Blood Passage (2011) and Marcie's Murder (2012)

Hey Michael!, I'm so excited to spend a little time with you. Having been married to a police officer I'm always intrigued with the kind of stories you write. Thank you for taking time to answer a few of my questions for my readers. Let's get started!

Explain a little about why you decided to write murder mysteries?

I worked for fifteen years with Canada Customs as training specialist, project officer, and national program manager. During that time I was fortunate enough to be able to work closely with many experienced law enforcement officers who were willing to share their experiences and knowledge with me, and I've been able to use much of what I learned from them in my fiction. At the same time, crime fiction gives me an opportunity to work with certain themes in my books related to the search for justice, the toll that law enforcement takes on the men and women who dedicate their careers to it, and the attempts people make to understand why people do the things they do. Finally, I've always liked crime fiction as a genre. I love the characters, the gritty settings, the non-stop action.

What makes a good assassin character? Do they have specific traits?

It's a challenge to develop this type of character without falling into stereotypes, but then again there are many different kinds of murderers. There are the psychopathic murderers who kill because of an irrational compulsion that gives them pleasure, there are others who kill because it's business, or their job to do so, and there are still others who kill because they're desperate, feel they have no choice, and act in a moment of fear, rage, or other such impulse. So far I've worked with organized crime killers for whom it's business to kill people for their own warped reasons, and with characters who've killed out of desperation. Eventually in the series I'll work with the psychopathic serial killer type, but I'm not looking forward to it. I have a natural tendency to flinch from that kind of mentality. I've read John Douglas's books on profiling and behavioral analysis and I've taken a lot of notes, but I haven't enjoyed it very much....
As for creating a good character, I try to make all my characters, whether primary or secondary, as round as I can make them. I think if I can bring the reader to have mixed feelings about the character, even if it's a combination of loathing and pathos, then I've given them something to think about. For example, Peter Mah, as a rising figure in organized crime in the series, is not a cartoon character. I want readers to think about his motivations and try to figure them out, rather than have me explain them. But make no mistake, my sympathies are with law enforcement officers and not the perpetrators!

Then how do you create tension for the reader?

Lee Child had a really good comment at this summer's Thrillerfest convention, if I can borrow it to answer this question. "Creating suspense," he said, "all boils down to asking a question and making people wait for the answer." My novels start off with a homicide that will form the basis of the plot, and so in that regard I guess you could say I'm writing a "whodunit," since that's the question forced on Donaghue and Stainer, and the reader isn't exactly sure of the answer until the end. But I take different approaches in the novel. They're police procedurals, so there's the systematic collection of physical evidence and witness testimony, but I won't hesitate to undercut this process to create reasonable doubt. I'm not so much into the puzzle-solving process that you'll find in some mysteries, which often depends on clues and confessions. I'm much more interested in the psychological processes and failed relationships that ultimately make it clear to Donaghue and Stainer who it is they're hunting.

Then with the books you’ve written thus far, who has been your favorite character and why?

Among the secondary characters, I have to say my favorite so far is Detective Hall in Marcie's Murder. He's such a tragic figure. Memory loss is a subject that's very important to me, and his point of view was one I needed to work through. However, I have to say that Karen Stainer is by far my favorite character in this series. I know readers are having a very positive reaction to her, despite her obvious flaws, and I'm very glad to see that. I've never created a character before that I understood as completely as I understand Karen. I don't know why. I can slip into her point of view without effort, see things through her eyes, know her reactions paragraphs before I get them down on the page. With her, I don't have to think while I'm writing the scene, I just have to hurry to get it all down on the page before it goes away.

We understand your great character now, let's change it up. What is your favorite setting for your kind of story?

I've set the series in the fictional city of Glendale, Maryland, because I wanted a large American metropolitan setting, but I didn't want to have to do the research required to become intimately familiar with a real city and its various neighborhoods, so I decided to invent my own. I'm doing enough research as it is! I wanted a dark, gritty atmosphere, an urban center hard-hit by the economic downturn, a city dominated in some districts by organized crime elements and in others by the rich and successful, a place where violence ebbs and flows but never goes away.Having said that, I will take the series on the road occasionally, as I did in Marcie's Murder, when Donaghue goes on vacation and ends up in Tazewell County, Virginia. That was fun, because I'd done some family history research for a friend of mine that centered on southwest Virginia, West Virgina, and Kentucky, and I had a lot of information on that area I could use.

Wow! You make me want to pick up both books! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions about your book! I hope you'll visit us again soon! Where can our readers purchase your books?

Blood Passage, Amazon paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Passage-Michael-J-McCann/dp/0987708708/
Blood Passage, all e-book formats: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/72770

Marcie's Murder, Amazon paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Marcies-Murder-Michael-J-McCann/dp/0987708724/


Marcie's Murder, all e-book formats: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/143300

Do you have a blog?

How about Twitter?

And Facebook?
How about your website:

And Your Goodreads:

Thanks Michael and visit again soon!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Don't Forget to Visit on Tuesday!

I will be hosting Canadian crime author, Michael J. McCann this Tuesday, August 14! His books are riveting and very well written! I know you'll enjoy our interview, so be sure and stop by!

And look for an upcoming contest that will give you a chance to win a basket full of great prizes! Details will be coming shortly!
Have a great week and don't forget to stop by on Tuesday!

Monday, August 6, 2012

We Are Off and Running!

Run, River Currents has been launched and it's climbing the charts thanks to those of you who have already read and posted your reviews to Amazon, Kindle and B& N. I thank you for the extraordinary support!!

In the next few weeks I will be hosting a variety of wonderful writers AND I'll be having a contest that will be filled with some great prizes! So sign on as a follower to make sure I can find you if you win! Then go and tell your friends to stop by as well!

Boy, after Gale Martin's great interview, finding someone that has her charisma and charm was tough. But I think you'll enjoy our next guest Michael J. McCann, author of several crime novels, including the Donaghue & Stainer series. Michael hails from Canada and I think you'll love his candor as he speaks about his writing style. Here's a sneak peek of an excerpt from Marcie's Murder. Some strong language and viloence for those who'd like to know ahead of time:)

The Harmony Motor Inn consisted of a central lodge and two long single-story wings, one extending north and one extending south. Hank’s room was three doors from the end of the southern wing. His rented vehicle, a Grand Cherokee with Maryland plates, was parked in the spot directly in front of his room. Beyond it, blocking the driveway on the left where it wrapped around the end of the south wing, sat a darkened police cruiser. Another cruiser sat two doors up on the right, also on an angle. A third vehicle was parked close enough to Hank’s car to make it impossible to open the driver’s side door. This one was a black Ford Explorer with a Town of Harmony Police Department crest on the doors above the legend Chief of Police.

“Move,” Branham urged Hank, guiding him around the Grand Cherokee to the cruiser on the right.

Hank’s bare feet stumbled on a crack in the asphalt.

Branham caught him, hauled him up and promptly stuck a knee into the back of Hank’s knee, taking him off balance again long enough to push him over the trunk of the cruiser. It was a fairly impressive maneuver, given that Hank was six feet three inches tall and weighed two hundred pounds.

“Don’t move.” Branham opened the back door of the cruiser and hauled Hank upright. “In you go.”

Hank tumbled into the back seat. Branham pulled him up and swiftly released one of the bracelets, dragging Hank’s arms around to handcuff him in front.

“Sit tight. Stay calm.” He slammed the door on Hank and went back into the motel room.
Hank sat alone in the dark interior of the police cruiser. His left cheek felt wet from a cut that was bleeding. His left temple ached madly and his rib cage, his buttocks and his left thigh were sore from having been kicked. His right shoulder, which still wasn’t one hundred percent thanks to a four-month-old gunshot wound, throbbed dully. He looked down and saw that his t-shirt and boxers were spattered with what he assumed was blood.

He wasn’t exactly dressed for company.

He’d done nothing wrong and it was obviously a case of mistaken identity, so Branham’s advice to sit tight and stay calm was solid, the kind of advice he himself would have given a suspect he felt was not the person he wanted. The chief had said something about a killer, so there must have been a murder in town. They’d jumped on Hank’s handgun, a Glock 17, but since it hadn’t been fired in a while Hank was confident it wouldn’t take them anywhere they shouldn’t be going. They would find his identification and badge in his room and know he was telling the truth about who he was.

Be sure to visit this site on August 14 to read Michael's interview!

Friday, August 3, 2012


Dark novel depicts unvarnished truth…
Run, River Currents is a 2012 semifinalist in the Association of Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Genesis Awards.


Two strong, opposing forces run through Run, River Currents—one of rage, violence and shame, the other of grace and redemption… Set along the beautiful yet life-claiming Tobique River, Ginger Marcinkowski’s novel is graced with narrative profluence and lyrical descriptions. It will leave you drenched, breathless, on your knees and gasping for air.
—Sara Pritchard, author of Crackpots (a New York Times Notable Book of the Year) and Help Wanted: Female (2012–13)

There are important stories that must be told about children who are scarred, whose physical injuries and emotional damage are inflicted at the hands of those society has entrusted with their care. Bereft of kindness and wisdom from her own parents, Emily can only cling to her grandfather’s kindly words: “You’re not alone. God will never leave you.” This is a tale of wrongdoing and the victimization of innocents, of forgiveness and redemption, that you won’t be able to put down until the last line of the last page.
—Gale Martin, author of Grace Unexpected (2012) and Indie Excellence finalist Don Juan in Hankey, PA

This family saga spans three generations of abuse, hoarded secrets, crippling guilt and, ultimately, a cleansing, cathartic redemption. Marcinkowski's great talent is for the breathtakingly perfect detail, the most exquisite turn of phrase. And she knows when to employ, with stunning impact, a single shocking action that will turn the tide of a character's life for good.
—Lenore Hart, author of The Raven’s Bride and Book of the Month Club selection Becky: The Life and Loves of Becky Thatcher

An amazing book…Run, River Currents is one young woman’s heart-wrenching story of pain and abuse, rage and resentment…and her life-changing struggle to learn the power of unconditional love. A must-read.
—Jim Jordan, filmmaker and award-winning celebrity & fashion photographer (Elle, Marie Claire, Vogue)

From the Author
Instructors of Creative Writing repeated the words, "The first book any new writer pens is the book that had to be written." I now fully understand those words. For three gut-wrenching years, this book begged to be put to paper. My intent was to write a humorous biography about my mother, a woman who raised a boat-load of children on her own. But for some reason, I could not make the stories resonate, so the humor turned to heartbreak as this story was released from me…coaxed by a writer whose own heart somehow understood the story that was within. It is a story of fiction, but the rawness of some of the events is based on truth. It's not an easy story to read, but somehow, in the midst of what may seem hopeless, God planted a seed of His grace and ultimately brought Emily to the place of joy she so long sought.

CONTACT: Lori Higham at lori.higham@booktrope.com for further information or to inquire about personal appearances and speaking engagements.


Run, River Currents
Paperback price: $14.95
eBook price: $4.99
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
ISBN (Print): 978-1-935961-71-0
ISBN (ePub): 9781620150757


Ginger Marcinkowski spent many summers traveling between her home state of Maine and her grandparents’ home in New Brunswick, Canada. The memories of her youth gave her a love for the deep Canadian forests and the mighty Tobique River—the setting for her novel, Run, River Currents.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Just a Few More Details!

Tomorrow WILL be the big day for the release of Run, River Currents! Please note the "Click here to Buy Now" tab. You can click on the cover and it will take you right to Amazon. The book is available for Kindle, and Nook as well!
Thank you for your wonderful support! Feel free to write a review on Amazon, as that is what helps authors books rise to the top!

Thanks to all of you who popped in to visit Gale Martin's blog! What a great lead off to our author's series! Next week we will be visiting with Canadian Mystery Writer, Michael J. McCann. Make sure you watch for his blog interview on August 14! Tell your friends to stop by as well!

And for those of you who do follow me, make sure you are signing in with your Facebook page, Twitter Account, etc., so that you can make comments rather than just read. The authors really appreciate the feed back!

Have a great day! I know I am having one:)