Today I have a guest blogger, Melodie Campbell. Melodie achieved a personal best this year when Library Digest compared her to Janet Evanovich. She has a Commerce degree from Queen’s University, but it didn’t take well. Melodie has been a bank manager, marketing director, college instructor, comedy writer, and possibly the worst runway model ever. She got her start writing comedy and in 1999, she opened the Canadian Humour Conference. She has over 200 publications including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories, and has won 6 awards for short fiction. Her fifth novel, a mob caper entitled The Goddaughter’s Revenge (Orca Books) will be published in Fall 2013. Melodie was a finalist for the 2012 Derringer, and both the 2012 and 2013 Arthur Ellis Awards. She is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada. And you can catch Melodie’s humour column for The Sage, Canada’s magazine of satire and opinion. After Melodie tells us about the dangers and costs involved in physical book tours (as opposed to these virtual blog tours) I’ll tell you about her current book. So take it away Melodie:
I’ve recently been on a book tour for my latest crime comedy, The Goddaughter. Book tours are expensive. You travel around to independent book stores and you sell some books and sign them. It’s fun. You meet a lot of great people. But it’s expensive. And I’m not talking about the hotel tab and the bar bill.
I should have just stayed in the bar. It was leaving the bar that become expensive.
Nice night. We decided to go for a walk. It was dark, but I had on my brand new expensive progressive eye-glasses, so not a problem, right?
One second I was walking and talking. The next, I was flying through the air.
WHOMP. (That was me, doing a face plant.)
“OHMYGOD! Are you okay?” said my colleague.
I was clearly not okay. In fact, I was splat on the sidewalk and could not move.
“Fine!” I yelled into the flagstone. “I’m Fine!”
I tried to lift my head. Ouch.
“That must have hurt,” said someone helpfully.
I write mob comedies. So I know a bit about mob assassins. It may come in handy.
A crowd had gathered. Not the sort of crowd that gently lifts you off the ground. More the sort of crowd that gawks.
“Couldn’t figure out why you were running ahead of us.” My colleague shook his head.
I wasn’t running. I was tripping and falling.
“That sidewalk is uneven. Your foot must have caught on it.”
No shit, Sherlock.
By now I had tested various body parts. Knees were numb. Hands, scraped. Chin, a little sore.
But here’s the thing. I hit in this order: knees, tummy, boobs, palms. My tummy and boobs cushioned the fall and saved my face.
Yes, this was going through my mind as I pushed back with my tender palms to balance on my bloody knees.
“Ouch!” I said. No, that’s a lie. I said something else.
I stood up. Surveyed the damage. My knees were a bloody mess, but the dress survived without a scratch. It was made in China, of course. Of plastic.
The crowd was dispersing. But the pain wasn’t over.
Next day, I hobbled to the clinic. The doctor, who probably isn’t old enough to drive a car, shook his head. “Progressive glasses are the number one reason seniors fall. They are looking through the reading part of their glasses when they walk, and can’t see the ground properly.”
Seniors? I’ve still got my baby fat.
“Get some distance-only glasses,” he advised.
So I did. Another 350 bucks later, I have a third pair of glasses to carry around in my purse.
Which means my purse isn’t big enough.
So I need to buy a new purse.
And that’s why book tours are so expensive.
Gina Gallo is a gemologist who would like nothing better than to run her little jewelry shop. Unfortunately she’s also “the Goddaughter,” and, as she tells her new friend Pete, “you don’t get to choose your relatives.” And you can’t avoid them when you live in Hamilton and they more or less run the place. When Gina bumps into Pete at the Art Gallery Gala, sparks fly. So do bullets, when her cousin Tony is taken down by rival mobsters from New York. It turns out Tony was carrying a load of hot gems in the heel of his shoe. When Gina is reluctantly recruited to carry the rocks back to Buffalo, the worst happens: they get stolen. Pete and Gina have no choice but to steal them back, even though philandering politicians, shoe fetishists, and a trio of inept goons stand in their way. It’s all in a day’s work, when you’re the Goddaughter.
I need a new rating system. Ya know, besides the number of hearts thing. I need something for a book that is pee your pants funny. Particularly from a female perspective with lines like ‘Never buy a wraparound, it won’t.’ THE GODDAUGHTER is a Cozy Caper and what is called ‘Rapid Read’ which means it is the perfect book to take along to read at the beach or on your next trip to read on the plane. And speaking of planes there is a very funny scene in the book where the pilot on a plane leaves the mic open. Gemologist Gina Gallo enlists the help of sports reporter Pete Malone when she smuggles gems, in the stacked heels of her shoes, over the border from Canada to the US. Of course Pete thinks he is taking Gina for some shopping and then out to dinner. Until the shoes are stolen and Pete helps Gina track them down by land and in the air in some more border crossings including a very funny scene in a hotel room in Arizona with a hooker and her john. These shoes get around before we get to the happy ending for all involved. Well except for the dead guy – but he does get a ride in an ice cream truck. Read it. You’ll have fun. It’s an offer you can’t refuse.