Thursday, November 20, 2014

In Hibernation

It's been a long time since I posted anything to this blog.  I guess because there hasn't been a lot of new news to share, and I haven't been travelling very much.

I'm now hunkered down at home, planning to hibernate for the next several months, reading and writing and doing jigzaw puzzles, with a break to celebrate Christmas with my family.

The biggest thing in my life has been my kitchen renovations. I'm absolutely thrilled with it!  Here are some pics:

I'm gearing up for a major book tour for BY BOOK OR BY CROOK.  Stops are in are Arizona (with Kate Carlisle, I am really excited about that!), North Carolina with Erika Chase/Linda Wiken and Donis Casey, Florida, and Michigan with Barbara Fradkin. Plans are still in flux and flights not booked yet, so if you want me to visit your library or book club, drop me a note.

Full tour details will be posted here when they are set:

By Book or by Crook is now available for pre-order for all the regular places, online as well as bookstores and for e-readers and in print.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Introducing Eva Gates

That's me!

My career is taking off in new directions, and I am turning to the light side. I am now a cozy writer.

If you are a Molly Smith fan, fear not, I am not planning to abandon those people I love so much, but just putting them on hiatus while I do other things.

I have two three-book contracts from Penguin.  One to write the Lighthouse Library Mysteries for Obsidian, and one for the Christmas Town mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime.

The Lighthouse Library Books will be first, and they are being written under the pen name of EVA GATES.  The first book is By Book or By Crook and will be released Feb 3, 2015.  The second is Booked for Trouble, coming August 2015.

I have been working on the web page for the Lighthouse Library series today and am proud to unveil it.

Lighthouse Library Mysteries from Eva Gates. 

Please pay a visit and let me know what you think!

Eva has her own email address or you can still write to

Monday, August 4, 2014

Win a CD copy of UNDER COLD STONE for Your Library!

Blackstone Audio, who do the audio versions of Poisoned Pen Press books, sent me extra copies of UNDER COLD STONE.  I'd like to find them homes in libraries.

These are on a set of CDs.  Audio books are popular in libraries, but they are expensive on CD, so many libraries, particularly in smaller towns, don't get in many except for the big bestsellers.

If you'd like to win a set for your library (and I am sure no one will mind if you listen to it first!) just leave a comment here or send me an email.  I'll select a winner later in the week.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Blog Hop!

I’m taking part in a blog hop.  I was picked by Linda Wiken (aka Erika Chase) who can be found at and 

To find out who I’m tagging, read on.

And now for the questions I have been given.
Eva Gates

1)    What am I working on?  
I am now going through the editor’s edits for By Book or By Crook, the first in the Lighthouse Library Mystery Series.  This is something very new for me.  A new cozy series!  And I just love it.  The books are for Penguin Obsidian, and they will be published under my pen name, Eva Gates.  The series is set in a library in a lighthouse on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. After writing 16 books with more serious tones, all about human tragedy, broken families, injured war vets, and other not-fun things, to write a book just for fun is a real joy.
Once I finish the edits, then it’s on to the second book in the series.  I have a three book contract.
By Book or By Crook will be released on February 3rd, 2014, and the second book (as yet unnamed), in August.

2)    How does my work differ from others of its genre?  
This is a very cozy series, and it is written specifically for those readers who love cozies. About the only way it differs from some others, is that I am trying to keep it funny.  If you are looking for a good laugh, along with an interesting location, fun characters, and an intelligent puzzle, please give it a try.  Oh, and the Outer Banks location. And the lighthouse!

3)    Why do I write what I do?  
I was ready for a change, and I was seriously considering giving up writing.  This new project has given me a renewed love of writing. I love the Constable Molly Smith books from Poisoned Pen, and they are doing reasonably well.  I really loved writing standalone gothic thrillers, but the latest, More than Sorrow, pretty much sunk without a trace.  The offer from Penguin (via my wonderful agent Kim Lionetti of Bookends) came at the perfect time.

4)    How does my writing process work?     
I am a total creature of routine.
I get up every morning, seven days a week.  I go to my main computer in my office, and read e-mails, read the papers online, spend a bit of time on Facebook or Twitter. 
Then it’s time to start to write.  I walk into the dining room and stand at my Netbook computer which is on the half-wall between the kitchen and the dining room and boot it up.  (In the summer I might sit outside on the deck) As I pass through the kitchen, I put one egg on to boil.
I always write, standing up, on the Netbook.  I read over everything I did the previous day, doing a light edit as I go.  I then take my egg into the study and eat it while checking email. 
Then back to the small computer for several writing hours, usually finishing around one.
And that’s pretty much it.  I can’t write in small chunks. I can’t write as the spirit moves me.

I have a new web site for the Eva Gates books:  It’s still in development, but please have a peek. You can also find Eva on Facebook at
 Plus, of course, the main web page at

I have tagged three of my favourite writers. They'll be answering the questions on their web pages next week. 

            1) Violette Malan lives in southeastern Ontario with her husband. People tend to ask her about the choreography of stripping – and she'll answer – but most of the time she's the author of the Dhulyn and Parno novels, and  the Mirror Lands novels, fantasies available from DAW.
You'll find her on Facebook, on Twitter, and check her website:

2)   2)   Prince Edward County's Janet Kellough is the author of The Thaddeus Lewis Mysteries (Dundurn), history/mystery set in pre-Confederation Upper Canada, featuring a steely-eyed and stout-hearted "saddlebag preacher" as the hero.

3)    3) Rick Blechta can be found at

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Visit to Trafalgar

As most readers of the Constable Molly Smith series know, the town of Trafaglar, B.C. is closely based on Nelson, B.C.  I love Nelson. It's a small, quirky, friendly town, smack dab in the centre of the BC wilderness. It's located in a valley, alongside a river, surrounded by mountains on all sides.  There is a certain Brigadoon quality to Nelson.  It is literally on the way to no where.  You have to be wanting to go there, to go there.

Outside Big Eddies

Street scene, with Fleures Des Menthe Restaurant patio on the right
A perfect setting, I thought, for a series of crime novels. And thus, Trafalgar was born.  Others seem to agree with me, as there are now several mystery novels set in some fictional version of Nelson.

I visited Nelson recently, and decided it would be fun to take pictures of the real places that feature in my fictional town.  I posted some last week, and here are a few more.

The French Bakery introduced in IN THE SHADOW OF THE GLACIER, and featured in all the other books when Molly Smith moves into the apartment above. 

Bar of the Hudson House Hotel.  Where Smith meets her childhood friend Nicky in AMONG THE DEPARTED 

The " Big Black Bridge "

Big Eddie's Coffee Emporium, site of many meetings.

The police station (of course)

A street scene. Picture taken from inside "George's Restaurant" (hard to see, but what makes this "Nelson" is the kids band playing across the street)

Yup, Castlegar really is known as Cancel-gar, as Smith tells Winters taking him to meet a flight in WINTER OF SECRETS

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Testing, testing

I am testing an app to use Blogger on my iPad.  My flight from Castlegar to Vancouver was cancelled when the plane broke.  Good thing it broke on the ground.  Anyway, they were able to reschedule me via Calgary, but now have a lot of time to kill in Calgary. 

I had a great time in Nelson.  Let's see if we can post some pictures of the places in Nelson, that inspired the books. 

Lucky Smith's Garden:

Road to John and Eliza Winters' House

Adam Tocek's place is ready for winter

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bloody Words – RIP

Wasn’t that a party!  This past weekend saw the swan song of Bloody Words, the Canadian mystery convention.

Yes, sad to say, Bloody Words is finished. For the simple reason that the long-time organizers felt that they’d had enough (and who can blame them) and no one else stepped up to the plate. Oh, there were plenty of people saying that ‘someone’ should continue it. But no one volunteering to be that ‘someone’.

At the Banquet
Although rumours were swirling that a few people had their heads together. We live in hope.
It was, however, a wonderful send-off.

My mother was my guest at the AE gala

Looking rather silly at Books with Legs

I had the honour of being the Canadian guest of honour but for me the excitement began the night before the convention itself with the annual Arthur Ellis gala at which the awards for the best in Canadian crime writing were handed out.  I was the host this year. We had a great dinner, a wonderful venue at the Arts and Letters Club, and about a hundred very interesting guests.  At dinner, I sat next to Michael Jecks, who was the international guest of honour for Bloody Words, and I enjoyed getting to know him. 

My stint at being the host passed with no calamities, the awards were handed out, nice speeches made, and everyone went off happily into the night.

Bloody Words began on Friday and it was just a whirwind of fun and activity.  I went to lunch with my publisher for Orca, Ruth Linka; met up with people I hadn’t seen in a while such as Alex Brett and Michael Blair; and chatted with people I never tire of seeing such as Linda Wiken and Mary Jane Maffini.  

At the Orca Lunch with fellow Rapid Reads Writers
The panels were all very interesting. I was on one called 50 Shades of Cop, all about writing police novels, with John McFetridge and Martin Walker, moderated by J.A. Menzies.

As Canadian guest of Honor, I was in the mystery cafĂ© with David Cole to talk about writing women in crime novels where Cathy Astolfo did a great job of moderating.  Also, Cheryl Freedman interviewed me at length about my books and my writing career.

Gold Web: A Klondike Mystery, was up for a Bony Pete award for best light mystery. It didn't win, but heck it's an honour to be nominated. Right? 

Michael Jecks, Cheryl Freedman, and Vicki Delany

For pure fun, nothing beat Caro Soles’ Books with Legs or the Saturday evening banquet at which we were asked to dress as a historical mystery character.  I sorta outdid myself costume wise.  As you can from the attached pictures. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

I'm Ready for Bloody Words

I'm all ready for Bloody Words 2014.  Hats are bought, costume rented, accessories bought.  Mom invited.

Can't wait.  Canada's Conference for Mystery Readers and Authors runs June 6 - 9th, in Toronto.  There are still tickets available. The full schedule is now posted.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Are you going to Bloody Words?

If not, why not?

Bloody Words is the Canadian mystery convention.  It is held in Toronto every second year, and in other Canadian cities in intervening years.  As far as small conventions go, it is definitely one of the best, packed with a line up of panels and events for established authors, beginning authors, and readers. A chance to hob-nob with some of your favourite Canadian crime and suspense authors and meet new ones.


in 2014 , the Canadian Guest of Honour is... ME! Although all types of crime novels and non-fiction are celebrated at Bloody Words, the theme this year will be Historical Mysteries.  As you know I am the author of the Klondike Gold Rush series, and my standalones have a strong thread of history running through them, in a dual narrative format.  World War II in Scare the Light Away and Burden of Memory, and the American Revolution and Loyalist Settlers in More than Sorrow. 

I am really looking forward to Bloody Words, June 6 - 8 in Toronto and hope you'll join us.  Here's the link with all the details.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Book of the Week!

Did you watch the Discover Channel TV show, Klondike?  Adapted from Charlotte Gray's superb non-fiction account of the Gold Rush, Gold Diggers,  it was a travesty!  A good, real Canadian story turned into an American Western complete with shootouts and even a murder, that never happened either in real life or in Gray's book.

My Klondike Mystery series is fiction, and claims to be nothing else, but I got the hiostiry a lot better than the TV producers did.

And, to prove it, you can try the first in my series, Gold Digger, FREE for e-readers. In fact, it's the book of the week for iTunes!

How great is that!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Gold Web: A Klondike Mystery

For those of you who don't have much time to read, I present GOLD WEB in a quick easy to read format: