Saturday, 24 December 2016

Looking Back On The Year of Change

As 2016 draws to a close, I can't help but think back to where I was a year ago at this time.

During the final month of 2015, I was preparing to embark upon the biggest modification in my life: leaving the country I had called home for the first 40+ years of my existence to begin anew. That alone would be a daunting task to most, but then another big step would occur one week after my arrival in my new homeland.  On January 6th, I would be standing in front of a Justice of the Peace with family and friends surrounding me and a loving woman beside me, as we both uttered those two magical words, "I do."

With my wife, and our little Pomeranian, I enjoyed the first few months of life as a Canadian living in the U.S. Three months later, I would obtain my Permanent Resident status, and I could begin the search to find gainful employment. The search was arduous, but I was eventually hired at the same organization where my wife works, just in a different department.  The job is part-time, allowing me the ability to still write whenever my muse strikes me. However, anyone who knows me knows like Bob Fraser in Due South, "He comes, he goes; never a word of warning."

That being said, I did release two books in 2016: my fourth poetry collection, and after a two-year hiatus, the fourth title in my detective fiction series. I've also started work on two new projects, and found the muse to work on a project I've been tinkering with on and off for three years.

So, what's on tap here in the year ahead? My six-month probation at my job ends during the week after I return from the holiday break, and at the end of the same week, my wife and I will be celebrating our one-year anniversary, along with our Pomeranian, and the elderly Yorkshire terrier we adopted during this past summer. Writing-wise, I'm hoping to finish and release the three aforementioned works-in-progress. As for release dates, those depend on when I finish, edit, and format these titles.  But, as always, stay tuned.

So, as I am about to pour myself another festive drink, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Holidays and a Happy and Healthy 2017, from my family to yours.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

My Crazy November

I know I haven't posted on here in quite a while, and to my readers, I apologize for that. As you can tell by the calendar it is November, so that usually means I'm deep in the throws of National Novel Writing Month. While I started off on the First with good intentions, life had a funny way of knocking me for a big loop this year.

Unlike my second attempt at NaNo in 2010 where I had a boatload of health issues (primarily emotional and psychological), the 2016 has been extremely busy for a variety of reasons. The first was my latest (and, unexpected until a few weeks beforehand) book signing. My C. D. Melley persona made an appearance at the Beach Babe's Book Blast author event in Tampa, Florida on the 12th. The good news for me behind the appearance was I was able to network with some new-to-me authors and bloggers. The bad news, since I, too, was new to the Florida market, my sales figures were non-existent. But, it was a fun day for me, regardless.

The other factor, and this is probably the main factor hindering my attempt this year is my job. For those who don't know, I work part-time as an Administrative Clerk at a local university. (But, in essence, I'm a "Photocopy Jockey.") And, November for a university usually means "Exam Time", and I have seen my share of exam papers to last me a lifetime this month. Such as the case when it's a busy campus, but it helps supplement the bill payments.

So, needless to say, my NaNo attempt this year is faltering. At the current juncture, I have written over 28,600 words this month. The catch is, in order to "win" NaNo, I have to hit 50,000 words before the end of the month. While I look forward to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday in hopes to narrow the gap, I don't really think the likelihood of a "come from behind" push will be successful. But, I will "give it the ol' college try."

That being said, for my American readers, I wish you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving this weekend.

P.S. for those who haven't heard, the fourth book in the Gary Celdom Case Journals series launched on the 20th. Entitled, "Kawartha Christmas Caper," it details a crime wave in Ontario's cottage country during the festive season. If you haven't already, pick up your copy today.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

STANZA SUNDAY: It's A Woman's Romance World

One thing I observed
Among all of the romance author events I see listed
Is that all of the people appearing
Are of the female gender.

I will admit that I’m new
To writing the genre
But, given the numbers
I’m a small fish in an ocean of sharks.

I have heard reports
Males do write romance
However, they do so under cloak and dagger
Wanting to remain faceless names.

I, on the other hand
Decide to go against the grain
Throwing caution to the wind
In hopes I can become known

Alas, when you write two other genres
Things can get complicated
And, makes me wonder

If I should stick to them instead.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

STANZA SUNDAY: Giving Thanks Up North

It is a special time of year
For my family and friends in my former home
As they gather around the table
Enjoying another festive meal.

It's time to celebrate
The annual autumn harvest
Relishing in the fruits of
Those who toil the lands.

Turkey with all the trimmings
Will be had by many
Accompanied by cranberries and stuffing
The latter my favorite part of the meal, I admit.

Alas, this is my first time
I will not be celebrating with them
As I dodge the odd hurricane
That sweeps near my new home.

But, despite all that
I wish all my Canadian friends and family
A Happy Thanksgiving
As I remember those I miss dearly.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

"It's (Near) That Time Again..."

Autumn is finally here. Stores are inundated with all things pumpkin spice. Canadian Thanksgiving is less than a week away. (And, for the first time in my life, I will not be in my former "home and native land" to celebrate it.) And, the start of the National Hockey League regular season is not far away. However, for some writers, like me, we are deep in the throws of plotting and planning for the annual month of insanity is upon us. That's right, gang, NaNoWriMo is nigh.

For those unfamiliar with the term, or a complete newbie to my blog, NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. Every year since 1999, participants have taken on the wild-and-wacky creative writing challenge where they are tasked to write a 50,000-word novel within a month. Interesting factoid: when it started that first year, the event was held in July. However, *sings* "in the Year 2000", the event was shifted to the traditional November time frame, and it hasn't looked back since.

Annually, 300,000 people from around the globe embark on this literary journey to create their magical worlds whether it be in the realms of fantasy, sci-fi, romance,or any other genre of fiction. I, myself, have participated in the challenge every year since 2009, with the exception of 2013 when I was adjusting to a new job I had obtained a couple months before. This year, I will attempt to tackle the task again, but with the added responsibilities of married life and my current "day job." My mission -- which I'm choosing to accept -- is to write the first draft to the first book in my Phil Bennett spin-off series.

It should be an interesting November, and those who are interested in getting in on the insanity themselves, you can sign up at http://www.nanowrimo.org

Sunday, 25 September 2016

STANZA SUNDAY: NaNo Planning

The Municipal Liaison for
The Toronto region of NaNoWriMo 
Is having an open discussion
About possible events this November.

We are discussing various 
Social activities to occur 
During the month
Along with our different write-ins.

Some are very popular
And, we intend to keep them in our rotation 
Others with lower turnouts
We are thinking of scrapping.

I have to admit I am envious
Of all of the fun things that are being planned 
For there is no guarantee I will
Be here come the eleventh month.

I hope there will be

A good group where I am moving to 
But, there will never be replacing 
My colleagues in TONaNo.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

With the First Pick in 2018, CeldoMelley.com Selects...

Ever since I participated in my first two author signings in 2015, my readers have been wondering when I will do another author signing. Alas, 2016 has been a wash due to the huge adjustment in moving to Florida, and settling into my new life as a married and employed man. However, while 2017 is still wide open, I am pleased to announce I have signed onto my first (and maybe only) author signing in 2018.

On the weekend of September 7-8, 2018, yours truly will be appearing at the inaugural Show Me Your Books author event/convention being held in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. The event is slated to take place at the Downtown Kansas City Marriott on the above dates, and VIP Tickets are available now.

What does the VIP tickets contain, you might ask? Check it out:

Breakfast Saturday morning,
An extra hour at the signing,
Five raffle tickets (to enter various raffle baskets being offered),
Admission to Saturday night dinner, and
A Welcome Bag stuffed with author swag and books.

There is one catch to ordering the VIP Ticket, and that is, you MUST stay at the Host Hotel for at least the Friday and Saturday nights of the event.

However, if you want to attend the event, and not stay at the Host Hotel, tickets to the 3-hour author signing only portion are absolutely FREE.

So, if my readers are interested in seeing myself, and a bunch of other authors in an intimate setting without all the drama and cover models, feel free to click on the event link below:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/show-me-your-books-2018-tickets-27911764840

(P.S. If you're an author who wants to participate in the event, there are still spots available, and you can reserve your spot at the above link, as well.)

Hope to see you in Kansas City in September 2018. Maybe we can enjoy some KC BBQ together. (Even if they say it's only the sauce that makes it special.)

Sunday, 18 September 2016

STANZA SUNDAY: The Ex from The Forest

She wouldn’t admit it
Yet, she enjoyed my company
Her heart was as cold
As the Iced Capps she enjoyed.

I should have known
It wasn’t going to last
Her dog wouldn’t accept me
That was a definite sign.

She kvetched about her sister
Always being a pain
But, because she couldn’t say the words
I was the one who ended up hurt.

Her heart bled blue and white
A rival in my book
For I support the red and black
White and Gold mixed in.

It wasn’t going to work from the start
I was blind at first
But, my sight became clear

When she couldn’t utter those three words.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Work-in-Progress Wednesday: The Prairie Fire Rekindled - Chuck Has a Secret

For the past three years, I've been working on and off towards completing the long-awaited sequel to The Prairie Fire Within. At the current juncture, I have 40,000 words written on it, and I'm hoping to have it available for an early 2017 release. The follow up to the inaugural tale of Amanda Bellamy and her staff takes a look at the relationship of Amanda's best friend and employee, Ashley Washburn, and her new love, Chuck MacDonald. However, Chuck has a former flame who bothers not only him, but the crew at Amanda's farm. Here, the gang learns of Chuck's ex-love, and it's a revelation they were not anticipating.

--

The five co-workers continued to debate the situation when they heard Chuck come down the stairs. They quieted down, and attempted to act nonchalant. The guest picked up on everyone’s odd behavior in an instant.

“Is there something wrong?” he asked

“You left your phone on the table,” Ashley said, “and a new text message came in.”

“And, I’m guessing you all were wondering who it was from, right?”

“It did pique our curiosity,” Cecil admitted, “but we respected your privacy, and didn’t check it for you.”

“Thank you for your honesty, Cecil.”

“We didn’t want to lose your trust, Chuck,” Kevin said. “But, you can’t blame us for wondering who it might be from.”

“What do you mean?”

Ashley said, “These two seem to think the text might be from your old gal pal trying to stir up trouble while you’re out on your dinner date.”

Chuck sighed in exasperation. “Is that what you all think?”

Amanda attempted to defuse the situation. “Not at all, we thought it might have been a relative or friend who was curious to see how things are going.”

Chuck rubbed his eyes. “Look, I know the whole ‘being in contact with my ex’ is a sore spot in everyone’s craw, but I assure you all, she is just a friend now; nothing more, and nothing less.”

Hank said, “We’re sorry, Chuck. It’s just we don’t really know who this woman is. We know she exists, but we haven’t gotten a description of her personality or what she looks like, save for what you’ve told Ashley. Heck, we don’t even know what her name is.”

Chuck took a deep breath, and tried to calm himself down. He hadn’t told Ashley everything about his former love except for the fact she didn’t love him the same way he loved her. It was a painful relationship he had with her, and he came to the realization the only way he could further his recovery is to tell them more about the woman who had broken his heart.

“I suppose you’re right. I haven’t been up front with you all about her. I didn’t think I could feel comfortable about talk about someone in my past when I’m trying to start something new.”

“Sometimes to move on you have to acknowledge what has already happened,” Amanda said.

“I’m beginning to realize that, and I feel comfortable enough to tell you all who she is… or was.”

“So, who is she?” Kevin asked.

Chuck struggled to find the right words to use. “I’m afraid it’s someone you all know very well. She’s Amanda’s cousin, Rebecca Brimley.”

No one said a word, as all of the co-workers’ jaws dropped in shock.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

STANZA SUNDAY: My Favorite Feline


Her hair is dark
Like the skies at night
But her eyes sparkle when she looks at me
Stars within the twilight

Her smile lights up the room
And sends my heart a flutter
No woman can do this
She is like no other.

The only regret
Is she is so far away
But, we vowed to be loyal to one another
Our eyes will never go astray.

I dream of her when I sleep
Hoping for that day to come
When I can call her my wife
And together, we will be one.

I know the day is nigh
When we both will walk that aisle
And, our happiness with come alive
We’ve been waiting a long while.

I love you, my Cat
You mean the world to me
I just hate when we’re apart
  But together, we shall be.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

STANZA SUNDAY: Logging-in From Afar

One relief I have about the Internet
Is it allows me the opportunity
To converse with a few of my friends
From my old home base.

There is an online chatroom
Some of them frequent
Discussing their lives and their craft
In the off-season from the insanity.

The activity in there has slowed
Since November has come and gone
But, a handful of regulars still appear
To hang out and talk.

They still have weekly get-togethers
On Friday nights at a coffee shop
I used to attend sporadically
For fun and shenanigans.

I miss such merriment
As I am many miles away
The chatroom is my only outlet
To my comrades back in Canada.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Here I Am, Rockin' Through A Hurricane

I'll be the first to admit I had my concerns when I first emigrated from my former Toronto home to the sunny climate of Florida. One of them, I had experienced over the past couple of days.

For those who haven't been following the news from my corner of the globe (And, considering the U.S. is gearing up for it's once-every-four years Presidential election, I can't say I blame you for tuning it out, considering the candidates we have running this year. Oy!), the Gulf Coast of Florida has been battered by Hurricane Hermine. While most of the storm's damage has been to counties north of where I reside, the wind and rain has been intense. Since yesterday, the county where I live has been in flood warning/watch until Monday night.

But, despite all of this, my wife and I, along with our two dogs, are alright. Our workplace had shut down on Thursday and today (Friday) due to the storm. So, while I'm not proud of the circumstances behind it, my wife and I are relishing the fact Hermine has given us, in essence, a 5-day long weekend. (Since this Monday is the Labor Day holiday here in Canada and the U.S.) The only problem is, there are a couple of supplies we're running low on (bread, luncheon meat, and milk for my coffee), and I'm not crazy enough to walk the mile and a half in the storm to the local grocery store and back.

Oh well, at least we have our beer and Keurig. But, for others who are in Hermine's path, please stay safe.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

TEASER TUESDAY: Kawartha Christmas Caper - When Phil met Karen

In advance of the release of the fourth Gary Celdom adventure this November, here's a snippet from the upcoming tale of Gary and the gang, as we take a look at when Gary's best friend, Phil Bennett, first lays eyes on the ghostly apparition that is Gary's former fiancee, Karen Prairie.

--

After washing his hands, Phil splashed some water upon his face. He was taken aback from what had happened. While he thought Maggie was a nice woman, for her to brazenly smooch him upon his lips was something he was not expecting.

"What the hell is going on with Maggie?" he asked himself.

A female voice answered him from behind the shower curtain. "Isn't it obvious, Phil?" it said. "She's got it bad for you."

The writer has a perplexed look on his face. He stared into the mirror, and didn't see anyone standing behind him. But, he heard the voice coming from beside him. He cautiously turned towards the shower, and pulled the curtain aside. Standing before him, in the stall, was the ghostly figure of Karen Prairie.

"Ugh," the specter bemoaned. "I've got to stop revealing myself in washrooms. They're the most uncomfortable places to be in."

"For yourself, or the person who is seeing you? Because right now, I'm about to drop one in my shorts."

"Please don't, Phil. I might be dead, but there's no need to be scared shitless of me."

The writer peered closer at my former fiancée. "Karen, is that you?"

Karen smirked. "Why, are there any other ghosts you see aside from me in Gary's shower? Could you be a dear, and help me out?"

Phil held the curtain open while Karen stepped out of the confined space. "I've heard about you appearing before Gary and Jessica in the past, but why are you doing so in front of me now?"

"Because there is a wonderful woman in your kitchen right now who is completely enamored with you, and you're stuck in here wondering why in the world did she kiss you."

"Can you blame me, Karen? I thought Maggie was someone who is feeling vulnerable right now because her Christmas was stolen from her. I know she's looking for comfort, but I'm not sure if I'm the right guy to be providing that."

"Are you sure about that? Because she seems to think you fit the bill. Or, are you still hung up about the number Amy did on your head and heart last year?"


Phil was taken aback from the specter's bluntness. He knew from my reports she was the outspoken type, but this was the first time he had experienced it up close and personal. Now that he was able to see and hear her, he noticed my former fiancée was the type of woman who pulled no punches. She forced the writer to look within himself, and get in touch with his psyche.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Stanza Sunday: The Witching Hour

The time has come
For most people to be in bed 
Dreaming various worlds 
As they drift off to sleep.

Alas, this is the hour 
When a writer’s creativity
Decides to come out to play
Filling their head with an army of plot bunnies.

The creator of these ideas
Needs to get them down on paper 
As soon as possible
Otherwise, they would be lost forever.

Countless amounts of caffeine 
Will be consumed by the scribe 
In a bid to strike
While the iron is hot.

There have been tales
Of an author suffering sleepless nights 
All for the love of capitalizing on

The next big plot twist.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Catching up and a Cover Reveal

I know it's been ages since I've posted on here, but there has been a good reason for that. On July 5th, I started a new steady job as an Administrative Clerk at one of the colleges at the local university in my part of Florida. Although, the job is part-time  (20 hours per week), it takes a while to get accustomed to the new surroundings and responsibilities. However, it keeps me occupied, and provides a steady income because book sales tend to, paraphrasing a quote from Due South, "come, and go; never a word of warning."

That being said, I haven't been completely silent on the book front. Recently, I've finished work on the fourth Gary Celdom book, Kawartha Christmas Caper, and am in the process of putting the e-book version on pre-order. I'm still planning on releasing it on Sunday, November 20, 2016, the same day as the Toronto Santa Claus Parade (because I firmly believe the holiday season doesn't officially start until said parade takes place). I know this is cruel of me to make my fans wait that long, but I hope they feel it's worth the wait. (Although, having to wait 2+ years for a new story with Gary, Jessica, Karen, and Phil is cruel as it is, but I digress.)  Anyway, with the pre-order opportunities popping up, people will get a chance to see the cover for it. But, instead of initially going to Amazon (which, the Kindle version won't be listed for another week -- darn 3-month/90-day maximum pre-order window), Kobo, iBooks, or Barnes & Noble (those 3 sites have it available to order now), you can take a gander at it below.


Isn't it pretty?

Alas, because of the new job, my July attempt at Camp NaNoWriMo fell well short, writing only 6,000 words in the first 4 days of the month. However, when things settle down, I will do my best to plug away at it... or that romance sequel that's been sitting in my work-in-progress pile for 2 years. Regardless, I have a couple writing endeavors in the queue, with other story ideas percolating in my brain (which is usually not good for the WIP Pile), so hopefully, I can focus on whatever project I decide to work on. Mind you, with November looming, I've yet to decide if I want to work on one of those WIPs, or an entirely new one for NaNoWriMo. But, I have a couple months yet to come to that determination.

Until then, if you have a Kobo, iTouch/iPad, Nook, (and soon, Kindle), make sure to pre-order your copy of Kawartha Christmas Caper. As an added offer, while it's available on pre-order, e-book copies will sell for 99 cents U.S. Come late November, it will go to its normal price of $1.99 U.S. (which I think is reasonable for a 30,000-word novella, but that's just me.)

"In the meantime, and in between time..." I hope to post another entry closer to the KCC release date.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Work-in-Progress Wednesday: Kawartha Christmas Caper - First Look at Maggie

Another busy week here at the homestead, with me fielding calls for a couple real life in-person job interviews, and in the process, I missed Teaser Tuesday again. However, in a bid to make up for it, I'm giving you, the reader, a special treat. If you've noticed, the previous editions of Teaser Tuesday have featured snippets of the first three Gary Celdom books. Today, I'm offering up a sample of my latest work-in-progress: the fourth Gary Celdom adventure, entitled Kawartha Christmas Caper, which is tentatively slated for release this November, just in time for the Christmas holidays. In this sample, we first meet a new character being introduced to the "Celdom Gang", one Maggie MacPhearson. Enjoy!

--

As we pulled down the snow-covered dirt road to my cottage, we noticed some bright lights in the distance. However, these weren't the normal colors of holiday lights one might come to expect, but those from a patrol car. We drove further down the road, and saw the patrol car was parked in front of the home of my neighbor, Maggie MacPhearson. We pulled into my driveway, and went next door to investigate. I asked Phil to take Benny for a walk while Jessica and I paid Maggie a visit. Phil appreciated the offer, as it gave him a chance to stretch his legs.

We entered the residence, and found Maggie sobbing in her living room, her Christmas tree laid bare, and one of the two officers was questioning her.

"Maggie," I interrupted, "what happened?"

"Excuse me, sir," one of the Constables queried. "But, who are you?"

I identified myself. "Detective Gary Celdom, Toronto P.D. I own the cottage next door to Miss MacPhearson's. This is my partner, Detective Jessica Amerson."

The Constable identified himself. "My apologies, Detectives. I'm Constable Jenner of the Ontario Provincial Police -- Bewdley Detachment, and this is my partner, Constable Kassian."

"We didn't mean to intrude, Constable," Jessica explained. "We just came up from Toronto, and saw the lights of your patrol car. Is everything alright?"

Maggie broke through her sobs. "Not really," she said. "My home was broken into, and all of my Christmas present were stolen."

            Jessica and I looked at each other, and that feeling of dread I had about my quiet week away being disrupted had become a reality.

~ Douglas J. McLeod, 2016

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Stanza Sunday: The Love Has Risen

Hi again, everyone. In my (new) continuing bid to expand awareness of my poetic works, I will be sharing one of the pieces from my self-published poetry collections. This week's entry comes from my first poetry collection, Slammin' on the Rails. Enjoy!

--

The Love Has Risen

She stirs from her slumber
A well-deserved rest
And when she rolls over
The man of her dreams lays beside her.

She leans over to lay a kiss on his cheek
He begins to rouse
His eyes blink open
And sees the vision of beauty smiling at him.

The man grins back at her 
And, caresses his darling’s face
Knowing out of anywhere in the world
He prefers to be at this place.

The couple greet with a kiss
And, murmur “Good morning”
Then, they curl back up to one another
Not wanting to leave this haven.

They are forced to leave their cocoon
When their dog yips for his food
Another day has begun
And, their love for one another is renewed.

~ C, D. Melley, 2014

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Special Kobo Sale This Weekend

Hey, guys! I tried posting this on my author page on Facebook, but because the algorithms on the site filter out posts using words like "sale", "promo", "offer", and "% off". So, in an effort to work around the issue, I'm going to try to let you guys and gals know about it here.

This coming weekend, for Kobo users in Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand can utilize a special code to purchase any e-book on their service which has been released through their KWL platform. Since ALL 10 of my titles have been published through this service, you can score any or all of my titles for half-off! Here's a list of all the titles published by my triad, which are eligible...

Gary Celdom Case Journals: Volume One by Douglas J. McLeod (detective fiction)
Rouge Numbered Week by Douglas J. McLeod (detective fiction)
The Prairie Fire Within by C. D. Melley (romance)
A Bolt of Loving by C. D. Melley (romance)
Slammin' on the Rails by C. D. Melley (poetry)
Poems for a Winter's Night by C. D. Melley (poetry)
Before I Leave Canada by C. D Melley (poetry)
Stanzas from the Sunshine  by C. D. Melley (poetry)
Fiery Freedom: The Complete Saga by Crimson Nuage (steamy romance)
Steamy Short Stories by Crimson Nuage (steamy romance short stories)

So, how do you take advantage of this deal? It's quite simple. Now remember, this deal is only valid for Kobo users in those four countries I listed above. Go to your country's respective Kobo store (https://store.kobobooks.com is the standard one in Canada and the U.S. Not sure if it applies to Australia and New Zealand), purchase any or all of those books listed above (or, any other indie author who utilizes the KWL publishing platform). Then, when you are about to checkout, use the promo code: 50JUN to score your 50% discount on your purchase. This can be utilized multiple times during the promotion, BUT it is only valid this weekend between June 25 and June 27.

Just wanted to let y'all know about this. Happy e-reading!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Belated Teaser Tuesday: Rouge Numbered Week - Phil is a Suspect?!?

Hey, gang! I was occupied yesterday with a job interview, so I missed the opportunity to post Teaser Tuesday on time. However, I wanted to do a special one for this week. With the start of the 2016 Canadian professional football regular season this Thursday, I want to share a snippet of my third Gary Celdom book, Rouge Numbered Week. The book was set in the backdrop of the 2012 Canadian Football Championship Game, which was held in Toronto. (Ironically, this November, the Championship Game returns to T-Dot.) Regardless, I hope you enjoy the snippet.

--

“Okay, so they’re both football fans.

“Canadian football fans of the pro team here in Toronto, a rarity in its own right.”

“Do you think these two were targeted by a rival supporter?”

“I find that unlikely. The Boatmens main rival is the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and I find it unlikely that someone from Hamilton would be traversing the streets near the university on a Thursday night.”

“Umm, I don’t want to alarm you, Celdom, but, Thursday night, at Hoskin and Devonshire which isn’t a kilometer from Spadina and College, and a possible Tiger-Cat fan suspect. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

I was taken aback by the conclusions my partner was presuming. “Oh no,” I attempted to discount. “I know he has some issues, and his mental faculties aren’t all there, but I highly doubt committing a double homicide would be something that would enter his mind.”

Jessica reasoned, “Be it as it may, he’s the only person that immediately springs to mind. I’m not saying he did. I know he’s our friend and all, but we can’t necessarily rule him out this early into the investigation.”


I took a deep and concerted sigh, and suggested we walk to our vehicle, and commence the long drive to Scarborough. It was something I was dreading, and I sincerely hoped Jessica’s hunch was incorrect this time around.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Stanza Sunday - Growing Up Fatherless

As someone who has composed four poetry collections (under my C. D. Melley moniker) over the past few years, I've decided to try something new here on CeldoMelley.com: "Stanza Sunday". On Sundays I will share one of my 250+ poems with you, my fans.

Since this debut edition happens to fall on Father's Day 2016, I'd like to share with you a selection from my third collection, "Before I Leave Canada". It's a rather personal piece, and showcases my feelings about how I feel about today of all days. Enjoy!

--

Growing Up Fatherless

  Today is a day to celebrate
The paternal influences in our lives
To cherish the male role models
We had growing up.

 Some will post messages on social media
 With photos and memories of their fathers
 Alas, for someone like myself
I cannot share in their sentiments.

 For I have spent the past 44 years of my life
 Never knowing who my father is
 A result from a teenage pregnancy
 With possible horrific circumstances.

 It pains me to have gone through my life
 Not being able to find out his identity
 But, if what I fear was the cause of my conception
 I can understand why it’s been a guarded secret.

 So, to wherever and whomever he is
I wish my biological sperm donor a ‘Happy Father’s Day’
And, may he never forget

 The product he left behind unknown.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Barbadian Backlash - Gary's On The Mend... Again

Hey, gang. It's been a while since I've done a Teaser Tuesday segment, and I figured it's time to get back into it. In this instalment, I give you a look at Gary Celdom #2, Barbadian Backlash:

--

I woke up the next morning to some discomfort. I presumed the last batch of morphine had worn off, and the pain that resided in my arm decided to make itself known. Fortunately, for me, the nurse came along, and gave me a booster shot. I was appreciative of the needle; however, I was a little leery when she told me to roll on my side to administer it. It’s funny, all of the times I had spent in St Mike’s over the years, and the one thing I was always intimidated by was the possibility of getting a needle in my butt. Having a bullet getting lodged in there is one thing – which hasn’t happened to me yet but, having a pointy implement penetrating the flesh of my rump roast made me uneasy for some reason. I breathed a sigh of relief when I took the injection in my hip.

After forcing down breakfast, I resumed lying down on my bed, and waited for how the rest of the day would unfold. It can be pretty boring when you’re in a hospital bed, and you have no means of entertainment. I wasn’t provided a TV in my room because of my overnight stay. I didn’t have a radio, or digital music player with me, so I couldn’t listen to some tunes. I wasn’t even afforded the luxury of having a book to read. However, while it would have made me look scholarly, trying to read with one hand loses its allure when you’ve got the other arm decently taped up. Instead, I remained alone with my thoughts; at least, I did until the familiar ghostly voice from my past decided to check-in on me.

“Good morning, sunshine,” Karen chimed.

“Is it morning? It’s hard to tell when you’re drugged up.”

“Well, if you didn’t keep getting shot or stabbed you would have noticed it when you had your breakfast earlier.”

It’s true. I did notice the near-autumn sun shining through my window. I just wanted to mess with my ex-fiancee for a little bit. While I might have been groggy, I had not lost my humor, such as it was.

“Did you sleep good last night?”

“You know, for a guy that’s in a hospital bed, his left arm taped up, and had a morphine drip in his right; I think I slept alright.”
“Oh, it wasn’t that bad, was it? You’ve been in this situation so many times over the years surely it’s become old hat for you by now.”

“You’d think that, but I admit, it gets tired after a few times, and don’t call me ‘Shirley.’”

The specter rolled her eyes, and shook her head over my pop culture- inspired retort. “Just be lucky Saunders only winged you, and didn’t pop you in the head instead.”

“Believe me, I am. Although, I’m sure some people might argue having a bullet pierce my skull might be an improvement.”

Karen slapped my good arm in admonishment for such a statement. “How can you say that? You’re a good detective, Gary. Sure, I know everyone has their detractors, but aside from the criminals you’ve helped lock up, I highly doubt anyone would want to, as the young urban males would say, ‘bust a cap in yo’ ass.’”

“Hmm, probably not, but I’m sure there will be someone amongst the higher-ups who will start suggesting that I call it a career after another hospital stay.”

“There will always be someone higher on the Police Services food chain that will say you should pack it in. They’ll try to label it as a budget cutback or insurance risk. Anything to conceal the fact a 27-year veteran with them is hanging it up because of your, how should I call it, ‘panache for overnight medical stays?’”

Monday, 13 June 2016

Reflections for a Scary World...

As I sit here, and think about everything that has happened over the past year, I've come to realize things can be quite scary out there.

A year ago today, I was participating in my first ever author signing event, "Sexy in the City - Toronto 2015." At the time, I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb: a male author, new to the world of the romance writing genre, sitting in a ballroom with 25+ other romance authors; all of them female. While one would believe I would feel out of place, these fellow authors made me feel welcome, and included me within their fold. In the months since, I have attended a second author signing, moved to Florida, gotten married, and at the current juncture, active in the job hunt while trying to plug away on my latest Gary Celdom book -- which will more than likely be a novella -- and, plotting a new adventure in the saga, starring Gary's best friend, Phil Bennett, for my July Camp NaNoWriMo attempt.

However, as I reflect back on the year that was, I can't help but think of the tragedy which occurred this past Saturday night at a nightclub in Orlando. Many things have been said in traditional and social media about the bloodshed in central Florida; some of them political regarding gun ownership, prejudices against sexual orientation, and misconceptions about international terrorism. While it is difficult to shy away from these things in my new home, I'm attempting to try my best to ignore it; however, it is not easy to do so, believe me.

It does not help matters when the upcoming race for my new nation's political leader has resorted to the traditional American tactics of grandstanding, mudslinging, and fear-mongering. While I was exposed to some of those tactics by the Stephen Harper Conservative government in Ottawa, things are ratcheted up down here with all of the publicity between Trump and Clinton. (Yes, I know there are still some Bernie Sanders supporters down here, and he's not officially out of the race yet, but still...) I want to try to tune out all of the political rhetoric, but alas, I'm stuck with it until November. Then again, I worry it might last longer than that. (Remember, I'm in Florida: "Home of the Dangling Chad".)

Regardless, I'll be the first to admit one of the things I feared since moving down here is all of the gun play. (Says the guy who lived in the eastern Toronto suburb of Toronto for 37 years where a gang was based a mere couple miles away.) While I know Orlando is a few hours drive away from where I am, there is still that concern about "it could happen here". Perhaps, I should take a page out of my wife's book, and become an introvert. Yes, I would go out for work, and my usual daytime weekend activities, but instead, I'll cower by the laptop and/or under the covers.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

A Personal PSA

I have something to confess, and it is something I'm not proud of saying. However, given the time of year, I feel it's necessary for me to speak up.

As most of you know, I attempted to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo this past month, and I had a good start: writing 3,042 words of my intended goal of 35,000 for the month. Alas, come the third day of the month, my muse decided to vanish for a prolonged period. It had finally decided to return on May 3rd, but the reasons behind its absence is why I've come to the realization I need to come clean.

For those who don't know my history I have battled mental illness for the majority of my life. After years of misdiagnosis from various psychiatrists, it was concluded a couple years ago to be an anxiety disorder. In order to help manage it, I take a prescription medicine. When I'm on it, I'm a pretty normal guy. (My zaniness around the home, notwithstanding.) Without it, I become quite fidgety; displaying various facial ticks, and am unable sit still. Considering my muse went AWOL for a month, you can pretty much guess what happened.

I had been given a 3-month supply of my medicine before relocating to my new home in Florida, and things had been fine. Unfortunately, said supply ran out in late March, and I was running on fumes until this first weekend of April. Personally, I thought I could manage without the medication for a while, but to paraphrase the words of Maury, "My genetic makeup determined that was a lie." When I eventually confessed to my loving wife I was without my medication, she was alarmed (which goes without saying), but she was quick to arrange a doctor's appointment for me to get me back on them. The only problem was, the earliest we could get in was 9 days later. For that period, we were both on pins and needless to see if I could survive for that much longer. (I did, but not without a tense situation caused by an unaware pocket-dial on my part.) Long story short, I finally had my prescriptions refilled this past Thursday, I have been taking them regularly since, and I'm getting back to my semblance of normal.

My main concerns behind my "going without" was the horror stories I had heard regarding American medical costs (i.e. how astronomically high they can be), but thanks to being on my wife's medical insurance plan, they were not as bad as I had initially feared. Regardless, with May being Mental Health Awareness Month, I felt it necessary to share a bit of my recent dilemma.

The moral of the story is to be open with your spouse and/or loved ones because they can provide the care and guidance you need when you feel like a fish out of water.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Scarlet Siege - When Past Collides With Present

Have you ever dreaded that moment when your current lover crosses paths with a former squeeze? Such an incident happened in Scarlet Siege to help kick off the Gary-Karen-Jessica dynamic within the series. Let's take a look at that moment when Jessica first "met" Karen.

*****

Jessica left her desk and headed to the Ladies’ Room in an attempt to clear her mind. How could she function when her head and heart were in the place that they were? Upon entering she headed to one of the sinks, turned on the cold water tap, splashed some water on her face, and looked into the mirror; attempting to compose herself before heading back to work.

A female voice spoke to her from behind, “It’s not easy, is it? Having your partner stuck in the middle of a situation where you’re not sure if he could ever get out of.”

“I have faith in Celdom. I know he’ll get out of this unscathed.”

“That’s the same faith I have in him too. It just makes it more difficult to keep it intact when you have an emotional attachment to him.”

“And how would you know about that?”
“Because, Jessica, I was engaged to him once.”

Jessica turned around, and her face turned white, like she had seen a ghost. Not just any ghost, but the deadly spirit of my dearly departed fiancée, Karen Prairie.