Free on Kindle: OF SEA AND SEED

by @AnnieDaylon


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*****

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Of Sea and Seed October 4, 5, 6, 2017.
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Of Sea and Seed
Meet Kathleen Kerrigan, a ghostly family matriarch who is doomed like some ancient mariner to tell and re-tell the story of the lives of three generations of the Kerrigan family as they struggle to survive tsunami, secrets, and betrayal in early twentieth century Newfoundland. “Heaven does not open its gates to a woman of my ilk,” Kathleen tells the reader.
What is she guilty of?

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My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

 

Short Story: Post Mortem

 From my collection Passages, an autumn story for the autumnal equinox. Enjoy…


© by @AnnieDaylon

Isadora was not willing to renege a lifetime of promise. For years she had planned, scrimped, and saved and now, at last, opportunity was here. She sprinted through the autumn woods, tendrils of silver hair streaming behind her. Every few steps, she let out a delighted laugh. What a sight she must be! An octogenarian in a full-length, black-velvet skirt, with a bulging shoulder purse hammering her titanium hip. And yet, she was dashing along with the agility of an adolescent doe.  

As she neared the clearing, she slowed her pace and kept her eyes down. What if the cabin wasn’t there? For a few seconds, her mind flirted with the extermination of hope and her body responded by coming to a standstill. A sense of fragility imbued her and she felt as one with each crisp leaf she had just crushed beneath thoughtless shoes. With heart and hope plummeting, should she go on?

Overhead, the call of bird and whoosh of wing distracted her. Isadora’s lips curved into a smile. Canada geese. Bidding their annual farewell. She took a deep breath. Wood smoke. A comforting aroma. Emboldened, she raised her head and instantly clapped her hands in glee. It was there, all of it: the old, log cabin with its red-brick chimney; the faded, inebriated-looking Adirondack chair; the window boxes with their peeling, green paint and stubborn, pink geraniums. Still blooming. Amazing.

She felt content to linger, to stare, but a blast of cold air slapped her, snaked under her billowing skirt, and caused her whole body to shudder. She clutched her purse to her chest and rushed to the rickety porch steps which whined in protest as she climbed. Sidling up to the door, she knocked. A timid knock. She waited.

As Isadora hovered, another gust of wind sent leaves flying. They swirled and spiralled around her and fell at her feet in a mosaic of ochre, red and brown. Autumn. She grimaced. To some, autumn meant renewal. To her? Her whole life, she had watched as autumn approached, encroached, and retreated, taking all living things with it.

Isadora recalled her first encounter with autumn’s cruelty. She had been playing outside and a single oak leaf, which had magically turned from green to yellow, had fluttered down and landed on her shoe. She snatched it up and ran home, intent on show-and-tell with Mommy, by the fireplace. But an eerie sound emanating from the house caused her to hesitate, to peer through a side window instead of entering. Her eyes widened and flooded as she watched her father fall to his knees, wailing, at her mother’s bedside. Interspersed with his cries, were words of regret and apology. Hard to decipher but, within seconds, the young Isadora understood. Doctors cost money. Her father had no money and, because of that, her mother, like the leaf in her hand, was dead.

That autumn, Isadora watched leaves fall, one by one, until none remained. All winter, she listened as naked trees moaned, echoing her pain. She was alone. Shuffled from one relative to another. Abandoned by a devastated father who knew nothing of raising a three-year-old girl.

Every subsequent autumn, as leaves rained to the ground, regret haemorrhaged through her pores. If only she could have changed things. Doctors cost money. If only she could have given her father money. Somehow, she always felt that she could have done something. Should have done something. But she had failed.

As she stood on the porch now, waiting, Isadora’s hope began to dwindle once again. She repeated the knock. Still no answer. Anxiety crept into her body, causing her to tremble. She let out a sob, formed her fingers into a fist, and pounded the door.

This time the door squeaked open and a tiny girl, a mere waif, stood there. Isadora gasped and recoiled. When she caught her breath, she leaned forward. “Hello,” she said to the bedraggled child who was hugging a filthy, hairless doll.

The little girl was silent.

Isadora held out the purse.

The child’s eyes popped wide. “Mommy’s purse,” she whispered. “That’s Mommy’s purse.”

“Yes.” Isadora opened the purse, displayed its contents, and closed it again. “I kept it all these years, filled it, just for you.” She placed the purse at the child’s feet. “You know what to do?”

The child nodded slowly. “Doctors cost money.”

A tidal wave of realization flooded through Isadora. She had done it.  For a few seconds, she stood, frozen. Then, in measured motion, she turned and headed down the steps. At the bottom, she paused and looked back.

The little girl, waif no more, was still standing there. Her dress, new and pink and velvet, matched that of the pristine, porcelain doll she carried and her waist-length, glistening blonde hair was topped with a pink velvet bow.

 The two exchanged no words, only smiles.

Isadora walked away, gradually picking up her pace until she was skipping along the woodland path. Deep within her, sad memories began to disperse, dropping away one by one, like the falling leaves around her. Soon those recollections were gone, replaced by images of a happy little girl, learning, laughing, and singing, at her mother’s side. 

Isadora returned to the starting point of her journey—the funeral parlour—and slid through the front Passages Book Coverdoor. She entered the viewing room and floated for a while, staring at her body, resting in its mahogany coffin. She sighed in contentment and slipped back into place. Cradle issues resolved, she was ready for the grave.

 

 

My best to you,
Annie Signature Light Blue

 

My Personal Literary Canon

by @AnnieDaylon

The term “literary canon” refers to a collection of works considered representative of a period or genre.

Having studied English Literature (Renaissance, 19th century, Canadian Lit., and Shakespeare), I was familiar with the term, but it was not until I read “Speaking of the Canon” , a post by agent/blogger Janet Reid, that I gave serious thought to the idea of a personal literary canon.

Janet Reid begins her post as follows: “The canon is what one must have read to be considered well-educated. There is the canon for Western civilization which is largely books that are non-fiction. There is the canon of English literature (the books you’d see in an English Lit survey class in college.) There is the canon for literature of the American West.” She goes on to say that there is also a canon for whatever genre you write in.

I write historical suspense set in Newfoundland, modern day suspense set in Vancouver, and short stories with… you guessed it, suspense. I read a lot, nonfiction and fiction (literary and commercial.) When I started writing, my reading became studying. And I found my influences, my personal literary canon. These are books from writers I admire, books which sit on my shelves (not just in my Kindle) so I can go back to them frequently, riffle through the pages, find sections or paragraphs or sentences or phrases that moved me, and get transported all over again. These books make me want to write better. 

My literary canon is listed below, alphabetically by author (no affiliates here, by the way.) This list is fluid in that it changes as I learn and grow. 

Amazing things come from the dark! I fell to my knees and crawled beneath a giant fir tree to get this image.

 


Do I have an absolute favorite?

Actually, I have two:
The Crimson Petal and the White (dark) and
Fall on Your Knees (darker still.)

 


Authors, do you have a literary canon? Which writers move you to write better? Readers and writers, any titles you can suggest to me?? 

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

Canadian Authors: Consider the Whistler Independent Book Award Contest!

by @AnnieDaylon

The Whistler Independent Book Award contest is jointly administered by the Whistler Writing Society and Vivalogue Publishing. It is a cutting edge contest in that it is the only juried novel contest for independent writers in Canada. (For more information click HERE.)


I entered this contest this year and, on May 31st,  learned that Of Sea and Seed, The Kerrigan Chronicles, Book I had made the short list. On July 17th, I was thrilled when my novel made it to the finals.

In addition to receiving a prize of $250, finalists receive opportunities outlined in a congratulatory letter, part of which, with permission from Tidewater Festivals, is reprinted below:

“Your nomination brings with it an invitation to attend the Whistler Writers Festival from October 12-15. Here are the events that I think will be of particular interest:

  • Thursday, October 12, 4:30 – 5: 30: Finalist Reception. This is a private event where finalists and their families will have an opportunity to meet each other, festival organizers and WIBA judges. There is no charge for this event but there will be a cash bar.

  • Thursday, October 12, 6:00 -7:00: WIBA Readings. This is a free, public event where you will have an opportunity to read from your book and answer questions from the audience.

  • Friday, October 13, 1:00-4:00: Speed-Dating for Authors. This is a chance to pitch your book to two publishers of your choice. One ticket to this event is included in your prize package.

  • Friday, October 13, 8:00 – 10:00: Literary Cabaret. This is one of the marquee events of the festival and will be where the WIBA winners are announced. One ticket to this event is included in your prize package.

  • The winners of both the fiction and non-fiction category will be invited to participate in a panel event on Saturday, October 14

  • Book sales will take place all day Saturday and Sunday morning.” 

In addition to the above, finalists (including family members) receive a special code that gets them a reduced rate at the Summit Lodge in Whistler. (Even my dog CoCo is welcome… a good thing since we rarely go anywhere without her!)

I have long been a proponent of writing contests. (See post: Why Enter Story Contests?) I have used writing contests to hone my craft, and have won or been short listed in many, both for stories and novels. I have done workshops on writing contests available in Canada and the United States and believe that contests are a viable choice for all independent authors who want knowledgeable eyes on their work. I highly recommend that Canadian independent authors consider entering the Whistler Independent Book Award Contest.

Thank you to The Whistler Writing Society, Vivalogue Publishing, and Tidewater Festivals. I am thrilled and grateful for the opportunity provided to me and am looking forward to attending the Whistler Writers Festival in October.

C

Click on above image to read a review by Lynne LeGrow, Amazon Top Reviewer and Award-Winning Blogger of  Fictionophile.

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

 

 

 

Big News! Shortlisted for the Whistler Independent Book Awards

by @AnnieDaylon


I am thrilled to announce that
Of Sea and Seed,
The Kerrigan Chronicles, Book I
has been 
nominated for the
2017 Whistler Independent Book Award.

 


I entered this contest because I love writing contests. In fact, I started with contests—story, poetry, and novel. I believe contests provide a viable route into the writing world and are therefore something that all authors among you should consider. Many times contests offer a word count limit and a time limit, both of which force you to hone your craft. Many times contests give a prompt, a creative spark, which forces you to think outside of the box. Both of my Vancouver suspense novels—Castles in the Sand and At the Heart of the Missing— have their beginnings in short stories that won contests. Castles in the Sand went on to win the 2012 Houston Writers Guild contest in mainstream fiction.

Of Sea and Seed is the recipient of the Book Readers Appreciation Group (B.R.A.G.) Medallion, bestowed for excellence in independent writing. And now, it has received this nod of recognition from the Whistler Independent Book Awards. My heart is in this book, readers. It is a literary and lyrical and suspense-filled sea saga, kindled when my father told me that a little girl had survived a tsunami in Newfoundland. 

 A ghostly family matriarch chronicles the lives of three generations of the Kerrigan family as they struggle to survive devastating tsunami, toxic secrets, and shocking betrayal in 1920s Newfoundland.

 

About the Whistler Awards…

The Whistler Independent Book Awards are relatively new, having been “established in 2016 to recognize excellence in Canadian independent publishing.” They are the “only juried Canadian award for self-published authors” and offer prizes in both fiction and nonfiction. This year, the three finalists for each of these categories will be announced on July 17th, and the winners’ presentation will be held at the annual Whistler Writers Festival, October 12th to 15th.

The Whistler Independent Book Awards, which are jointly administered by the British Columbia Whistler Writing Society and Vivalogue Publishing, are a boon for self-published authors who struggle to have their work recognized. The fact that these awards are juried and the winners chosen by distinguished authors can ease the burden for librarians, one of whom informed me that librarians wish to support independent writing but they do not have staff available to vet the tons of titles that cross their desks each year.

I am grateful that my work has been nominated for the 2017 Whistler Independent Book Award for fiction and am thrilled to be in illustrious company.

For more information, check out the

Whistler Independent Book Awards site.

 

 

A free short story is yours when you join my email list! My newsletters contain book news, blog posts, sneak previews, and, occasionally, fun facts about my beloved island of Newfoundland. To join, place the required information in the space provided on the right. Rest assured your email address will not be shared for any reason.


My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue

At the Heart of the Missing: Giveaway and Prologue!

Goodreads Giveaway has ended!
Many thanks to all who entered.
Congratulations to winners, Cheryl and Brigitte!


At the Heart of the Missing
 is a psychological thriller about a woman’s fierce struggle to flee her abductor and a PI’s frantic search to locate her. It is a heart-wrenching tale about the ties that bind and the tragedies that break families.

 (Scroll down for prologue.)


GOODREADS GIVEAWAY
!
April 5 – April 12, 2017.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

At the Heart of the Missing by Annie Daylon

At the Heart of the Missing

by Annie Daylon

Giveaway ends April 12, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Prologue

Friday, May 6

Rose stands in the center of the living room, staring at the opaque, indestructible glass of the window nearest the fire escape. She smirks. Escape. There is no escape: the window is painted shut. She fingers her breakout tools—a pair of manicure scissors and a jagged cuticle pusher: scrape paint, raise window, crawl through. But her legs are leaden. It is all she can do to raise an arm to wipe her brow. A whiff of sweat triggers a wave of nausea. Swallowing hard, she glances toward the door.

Time is limited. Yes, he is gone overnight, but at dawn, a jangle of keys will assault her eardrums. She has gotten away with a few tiny deviations from his set of rules, from his idea of perfectionism. But this? This will not go unnoticed. What if she fails? She flinches as she flashes on yesterday: the setting of the table, the misplacement of a water goblet, and the blow to her ribcage.

A sob explodes from Rose’s throat. How the hell did she end up here? In this situation? Anxious, she thrusts forward, first one foot, then the other. She is making headway now, inching toward the window, almost there. At the window, she stalls again. What the hell is she waiting for? There is no time for hesitation, no time to question how she got here. But she has to think things through. All her life, she’s been completely in control, spiraling upward. All her life, she’s maintained independence. Needing no one. Accessorizing with and then casting aside lovers and friends. Her only true allies were blood: her sister and her mother.

But three years ago, her sister Margo vanished. Not a word, not a trace. Gone.

Three months ago, Rose’s mother died. Her body battered by cancer, her heart shattered by grief, Violet Harrington just gave up.

The losses left Rose out of touch, alone. Just Rose. A solo, independent woman. Now, imprisoned in front of the opaque window with her makeshift tools in hand, reality knifes her. What she created was not independence; it was vulnerability. Without a support system, she was a target. She was prey. With her porthole of time eroding, with every nerve stretched taut, Rose stares at the window.

How long had he hunted her?

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

At the Heart of the Missing by Annie Daylon

At the Heart of the Missing

by Annie Daylon

Giveaway ends April 12, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

My best to you,

Annie Signature Light Blue