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Guest Blog by Author PAMELA CALLOW

I think you'll really enjoy today's guest blog from author PAMELA CALLOW!

 

I want to thank MARY KENNEDY for introducing me to Pam!

 

Pam's website is here: http://www.pamelacallow.com/


And her personal Facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/pam.callow

 

Her FB author page is here.

 

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Re: Guest Blog by Author PAMELA CALLOW

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Re: Guest Blog by Author PAMELA CALLOW

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Re: Guest Blog by Author PAMELA CALLOW


I was born in Ontario, Canada, the youngest child of two immigrants. My mother emigrated from East Germany after World War II. My British father was hired to work as an engineer on the ill-fated Avro Arrow project. 

Pamela CallowAt the age of two, my family moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Growing up by the ocean has shaped my life, and has, in turn, shaped my writing. I attended the University of King's College, where I took the Foundation Year Program, studying the greatest works of Western Civilization. I graduated with an undergraduate degree in English Literature. Following that, I studied law and was admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar. I've always had an interest in public policy, so I returned to university to complete a Master's Degree in Public Administration.

I then worked as a strategy consultant for an international consulting firm, travelling all over North America. When I had my first child, my local office closed. I decided to stay home with my young family, a period in my life for which I am very grateful. It also gave me an opportunity to exhume an old passion: writing. 

Inspired by a criminal case in the United States, and drawing on my professional career at a blue-chip firm, I wrote Damaged, the first of four planned books in the Kate Lange series. Damaged was released by MIRA Books in June 2010.Indefensible, book #2 of the series, was inspired by recent wrongful accusation cases, and was released in January 2011. Tattooed, the third book of the series will be released in June 2012, and a fourth is projected to be released in 2012, as well. 

You can find me on Facebook, and on Twitter. If you'd like to receive my newsletter, sign up here.

I currently live in Halifax, with my husband, two children, and a pug. 

 

 

 

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Re: Guest Blog by Author PAMELA CALLOW

 

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to face a serial killer?

I've always been fascinated by crime. Maybe because I always played by the rules. It led me to my professional career: first law, then a consultant for justice clients.

Damaged was inspired by a US criminal case. But I wanted to use the case as a springboard for a thriller with an ordinary woman in the lead, a woman who suffered heartbreak, who struggled with her career, who couldn't afford to buy the alarm system she needed for her house because her plumbing was leaking.

I wanted to write about an ordinary woman who has to face her darkest fears.

In Damaged, Kate Lange finds out how far she would go to stop a serial killer.

And learns how far she has to go to save herself.

Meet Kate Lange. Thirty something lawyer. Runner. Owner of an abandoned dog.

My everywoman superwoman.



In praise of libraries

I can't talk about writing without mentioning libraries -- it was my own local bookmobile that introduced me at a young age to the pleasure of reading. I loved libraries so much that when I graduated from high school, I worked at the checkout desk of our local public library, hobbling around with a walking cast because I broke my ankle on prom night. Then, in law school, I worked part-time in the makeshift law library that had been created after lightning struck the permanent one (no, I wasn’t in the building at the time).

It is a special thrill for me to know that my books will be available in public libraries. It feels like I’ve come full circle.

 

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Re: Guest Blog by Author PAMELA CALLOW

 

 

Damaged 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis

 

Haunted by the death of her sister and wounded by her ex-fiancé's accusations, Kate Lange throws herself into her new career at a high-powered law firm.

When the grandmother of a lonely private school student seeks her counsel, Kate thinks it's just another custody case. But then the teen is brutally murdered. And it isn't only Kate who wonders if her legal advice led to the girl's death.

 

Put on notice by Randall Barrett, the firm's charismatic managing partner, Kate must fight for her career, for her reputation—and for redemption.

Unwilling to live with the damage she may have caused, Kate pursues the case on her own and unearths some chilling facts.

 

Facts that lead straight to the heart of a legal conspiracy.

 

Facts that lead Kate directly into the surgically skilled hands of the Body Butcher.

 

 

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Re: Guest Blog by Author PAMELA CALLOW

Read an excerpt of DAMAGED:

 

 

Friday, April 27, 5:00 p.m.

 

Springtime in Halifax was not known for its warmth or sunshine. Nor was Lyons McGrath Barrett, one of Halifax's premiere boutique law firms.

Kate Lange allowed herself a one-minute break and gazed out her window on LMB's associate floor. Drizzle specked the glass, obscuring the line of cars snaking along Lower Water Street. Friday night rush hour was just beginning.

She turned back to her desk—an elegant mahogany-finished number with matching credenza—forcing her eyes to focus on the separation agreement spread out in front of her. The fourth this week. The twenty-seventh since she'd joined LMB. She grimaced. The irony was not lost on her. She'd left Marshall & Associates because of a preponderance of family law clients.

A rapid knock on the door broke through her thoughts.

Her pulse jumped in her throat.

It was Randall Barrett. Himself.

She'd never met LMB's managing partner before. He'd been in absentia during her job interview. She suspected it was because she was the former fiancée of Ethan Drake, the criminal investigations detective he believed sent an innocent man to jail. Two years before, Ethan investigated Randall Barrett's old soccer buddy, Dr. Don Clarkson, for the death of a critically ill patient. The media buzzed with the story: Had Dr. Clarkson misjudged the amount of morphine the patient could handle or had he perpetrated a mercy killing? The autopsy was inconclusive. The case hinged on the testimony of the patient's son, who claimed Dr. Clarkson had assured him his mother would not suffer any longer. Randall Barrett believed Ethan unduly influenced the teen.

Don Clarkson bankrupted himself with his defense but was convicted nonetheless. Randall Barrett stepped in to handle his appeal. But despite Randall's attempts to convince the Court of Appeal that Ethan had thrown the investigation, the appellate judges upheld the conviction two to one. Neither Randall Barrett nor Ethan Drake had gotten over it. The hostility ran deep.

Kate stood, smoothing her skirt. "Hello, Mr. Barrett." She gave him a brilliant smile, grateful she wore the new suit she'd bought with her last paycheck. It had been a toss-up between replacing her old articling clothes or the old kitchen piping, but the lure of the Jackie O-style suit had been too strong. When she heard the pipes groaning that night, she'd regretted her extravagance. But she couldn't bring herself to take the sleek cream suit back and ask for a refund. She'd learned a long time ago that there were no returns in life.

Now, eyeing Randall Barrett's exquisitely tailored gray suit, she was glad she'd kept it. He, of all people, needed to see that she belonged in this office, that her name would have a place on LMB letterhead. Because it didn' t, not yet. Not for another two months.

And only if she cut it.

He smiled, showing off his strong, white teeth. It did nothing to ease her jitters. "Please, call me Randall." He raised a brow. "May I come in?"

She straightened. Flushed. "Of course."

He walked toward her, filling her office with plain, old-fashioned male virility.Geez. Now I know why all the single women in the firm get flustered when his name is spoken.

He stopped in front of her desk. A manila folder was tucked under his arm. In her heels Kate was almost as tall as he was, but his charisma gave him the benefit of a few extra inches. His brilliant blue eyes drilled into hers.

She forced herself to hold his gaze. It gave nothing away. Which was what she supposed she could expect. But it still rankled. Known for his keen analyses and eloquent arguments, she could learn a lot from him. If he gave her a chance.

His eyes sharpened, then drifted away, lazily scanning the piles of folders on her desk, resting for a moment on the stack of Reports of Family Law. "You busy?"

Now there was a loaded question. She had no doubt that he'd used that casual inquiry on every new associate who entered the firm's hallowed corridors. If she said no, she'd surely go to billable hours hell. And if she said yes, she'd sound churlish to LMB's top dog.

"Can never be too busy," she said.

A blond brow lifted. "Good." He tossed the file on her desk. "You've got a new client. She's waiting for you in the reception area."

He'd done this on purpose, wanted to test her. She flipped open the file, knowing Randall Barrett wouldn't be giving her what she wanted—that wasn't his style—yet unable to control the small hitch of hope that maybe, finally, she'd be able to show him that she was capable of so much more than the family law cases that had been thrown her way.

The file contained only one sheet of paper. Four words had been hastily scrawled in black pen: Marian MacAdam. Custody matter.

The sight of it filled her with disappointment, resignation. Resentment, even. But not guilt. That would come later.

She closed the folder carefully. The writing was on the wall. Randall had her firmly slotted in the family law group. All the platitudes her mentor, John Lyons, had given her about the probationary period being a time to assess her strengths and see where she best fit in the firm were bull. She hadn't received a single litigation, insurance or corporate case since she'd been here. Just family law. The pink ghetto.

She met Randall's gaze. His was cool. Amused, even. Damn him. He knew she was pissed off. And he liked it.

She circled her desk, crossing her arms. "I have only two months left of my probationary period."

A small smile curved his mouth. He turned and held open her office door, waiting for her to collect her latest family law client.

His lack of response was specifically designed to intimidate her, she knew. She strode through the doorway, knowing he was too much of a gentleman to walk in front of her, no matter his natural inclination to be one step ahead. Over her shoulder, she said, "When John Lyons recruited me—" the slight lifting of Randall's brows showed he hadn't missed her meaning "—he told me I'd be working in the civil litigation group." She began walking down the hallway.

"John didn't have the authority to tell you that," Randall said matter-of-factly, falling into step beside her.

She hoped her face didn't reveal how much that casual revelation threw her. Not long after she'd arrived at LMB she'd suspected John had less power in the firm than he'd like to think, but she never expected that the managing partner would come out and say it to a first-year associate. Partners usually stuck together.

"Why did you hire me, then?"

"We brought you in for a probationary period—" His careful choice of words was deliberate. Kate's stomach clenched despite her resolve to not let him intimidate her. "—Because we need to see where your strengths lie."

"I thought you'd seen them pretty clearly on the Robertson file." She'd single-handedly won the day for her Davidlike client, resulting in an offer of employment from John Lyons, who represented the Goliath insurance company.

"Yes, there's no question that John was impressed with your work on that file. But that was one case. We deal with a multitude of clients and issues at LMB. We need to be confident of your abilities to handle both the clients and the issues." Translation: she was now swimming in a much bigger pond and needed to prove she could be a shark like all the rest.

They approached the glass door that led to the reception area. She stopped, crossing her arms. "Unless you give me some civil lit files, you'll never know."

"You'll get your chance, Kate." Randall held open the door. "Do a good job on these files and we'll see if there's something we can give you from the litigation group." His eyes met hers. Piercing. Sharp. Looked right through her.

She wasn't fooled for a minute that he was interested in her. She knew he wasn't. He just expected her to respond to his magnetism like every other female he encountered.

Well, she did, if she was honest with herself. How could she not? But he wasn't her type. Too cocky, too confident, too arrogant. And yet, there was a pull there. An awareness in her body that had everything to do with primal urges and nothing to do with self-respect. To respond physically to a man so sure of himself was humiliating.

She stepped around him and walked through the doorway into the reception area. The glass door closed behind her. Randall had not followed her.

She took a deep breath. Randall's patronizing "be a good girl" attitude had been hard to take. But he had thrown the bone she craved her way. She'd waited too long and desired it too deeply to walk away from it now. Because she knew if she forced the issue with Randall while she was still on probation he'd tell her to take a hike.

Her new client pushed herself to her feet when Kate approached.

"Mrs. MacAdam?" Kate asked, hoping she was wrong. She'd expected a middle-aged woman, but Marian MacAdam must have been well into her seventies. She wore a beautifully tailored camel overcoat that helped camouflage her stooped back. A pink-and-orange scarf was tied artfully around her neckline. Kate bet she drove either an Audi or a Mercedes. That was the car of choice for well-heeled Halifax matrons. The only thing that gave her away was her eyes. They looked anxious and tired.

"Yes," Marian MacAdam replied, her gaze sweeping over Kate. Uncertainty flashed across her face.

Kate put on a reassuring smile. "I'm Kate Lange." She held out her hand. Marian MacAdam grasped it, her fingers knobbed with arthritis but surprisingly soft and warm.

"My office is this way," Kate added briskly, holding the glass reception door open for her. They walked down the hallway, Kate forcing herself to shorten her stride, making small talk about the weather and the tulips. Marian MacAdam nodded, but said little. Her breathing came in shallow puffs by the time they reached Kate's office.

"Please, have a seat, Mrs. MacAdam." Before you collapse.

Marian MacAdam sank onto the blue upholstered chair. She glanced around, her gaze taking in Kate's stacks of legal books, the degrees mounted on the wall behind her, the picture of Kate's dog. Her eyes lingered on Alaska's goofy grin.

Kate sat down behind her desk. "I understand you have a custody issue you need some advice about?" She hoped maybe Randall had been wrong. Because if this lady did have a custody issue, it must be for a grandchild. And that was sure to be messy.

"Yes," Marian MacAdam said with an air of defiance. "I am seeking custody of my granddaughter."

Damn Randall Barrett. He really had it in for her. "I see. Does she live with one or both parents?"

Marian MacAdam hesitated. "She lives with my daughter-in-law. My son moved out two years ago, and they divorced a year later."

Kate began jotting notes. "How old is your granddaughter?"

"Fifteen."

"Fifteen?" Kate stopped writing and looked at her client. "What does she want to do?"

"She wants to stay with her mother."

Kate put her pen down. "Then why do you want custody?"

Marian MacAdam leaned forward. "Because her mother completely ignores her. She's always working. She has no idea where Lisa is most of the time." Disapproval tightened her mouth, puckering the loose flesh of her jaw. She was the picture of indignant outrage.

What Marian MacAdam didn't realize was that she wore the same expression as three out of four of Kate's clients. The anger, the blame—each side in a custody battle nursed their grievances. Kate listened to the diatribes, defused the pain, steered them back to the legal issues and dreaded the next client.

Maybe Lisa's mother needed to work to keep them going. Nova Scotia had a lot of deadbeat dads. Maybe Marian MacAdam's son was one of them—and she didn't want to admit it.

Kate knew how hard it was to swallow that truth. It had almost killed her twelve-year-old self to admit that her own dad had joined those ranks.

Kate knew her next words would not be welcome. "Mrs. MacAdam, the law does not like to take children from their parents. The parent has a prima facie right to custody unless you can prove the child is being neglected or emotionally harmed." She practically had those words memorized. Now came the clincher. She held Marian MacAdam's gaze. "Is Lisa being neglected or emotionally harmed?"

Marian MacAdam looked away. "She hasn't been physically neglected. But you might say she has suffered emotional harm."

"Mrs. MacAdam, there is a specific definition to that term. You would need to demonstrate that Lisa has severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal or self-destructive behavior—" And yet, as Kate knew only too well, emotional harm could be something far more insidious, far less obvious, something that spurred a teenage girl to ignore every warning her stressed-out mother ever gave her and allow the unthinkable to happen.

"I think she is using drugs," Marian MacAdam said softly.

Kate leaned back in her chair. "Are you sure?"

Marian MacAdam shook her head. "I don't have any proof… it's just a suspicion. She's unreliable, won't come to supper when she says she will, that kind of thing."

"Have you spoken to her parents about it?"

"Her mother keeps saying that Lisa doesn't have a problem, and, of course, Lisa won't admit to a thing." Marian MacAdam's voice hardened. "Which suits her mother just fine."

Kate felt a sneaking sympathy for Marian MacAdam's former daughter-in-law. It wouldn't be easy facing a mother-in-law's disapproval while trying to handle being a single parent.

"Have you tried speaking to your son about it? Maybe he can help."

Marian MacAdam's lip curled. "My son has no influence over his ex-wife. And besides, he travels all over the place. He's a partner in one of those big consulting firms."

"So Lisa lives with her mother?"

Marian MacAdam nodded. "Yes. Her mother works even more than my son." That sounded familiar. Kate's mother had worked two jobs to keep them going after her father's downfall.

"What does she do?"

Then Marian MacAdam dropped the bomb.

"She's a judge."

"A judge?" Kate tried to keep the shock from her voice. She'd created a picture in her mind of a down-at-heel single mother. Not a judge. "Which court?"

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Re: Guest Blog by Author PAMELA CALLOW

 

 

Indefensible 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis


When Elise Vanderzell plummets from her bedroom balcony one gorgeous summer night, her children awaken to a nightmare.

 

Their mother is dead.

 

Their father is charged with her murder.

 

Lawyer Kate Lange knows all about nightmares. She's survived the darkest period of her troubled life and the wounds are still raw. Now she's been handed a case that seems utterly unwinnable: defending her boss, high-profile lawyer Randall Barrett. A prosecutor's dream suspect, Randall is a man who was cuckolded by his ex-wife. A man who could not control his temper. A man who had argued bitterly with the victim the previous day in full view of the children.

 

With limited criminal law experience, Kate finds herself enmeshed in a family fractured by doubt. Randall's teenage son is intent on killing him. His daughter wants only to feel safe again. And the entire legal community would like nothing better than to see Randall receive a public comeuppance. As Kate races to stay a step ahead of the prosecution, a silent predator is waiting for the perfect time to deal the final blow.

 

 

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Read an excerpt of INDEFENSIBLE:

 

Friday, 5:05 p.m.

 

The siren song of the end-of-workday bustle on Halifax's historic waterfront did not reach law firm McGrath Barrett. Ensconced in the top two floors of one of the city's landmark office towers, McGrath Barrett co-cooned its staff from the hubbub of the everyday world with plush carpeting, heavily paneled cubicles and glassed-in offices. Perfect working conditions for honing concentration and maximizing billable hours. In theory.

Late afternoon summer sunshine beat through Kate Lange's office window and landed squarely on her back. Even with air-conditioning, the relentless heat dampened her skin. She slid her office chair sideways. Didn't matter. The sun just poured through the glass lining the far wall, issuing the one siren song that McGrath Barrett could not deflect. It urged her to abandon the personal injuries tome on her desk with its impossibly small print.

She rubbed her temple. Just two more cases to review.

Get it over with, Kate. Just like you got through that brutal discovery today. It had finished an hour ago. Her head still throbbed from it, but she needed to check a couple of cases before she could end her workweek in good conscience.

And then—a run in the park followed by a night on the town. Hunching over the book, she scowled at the text, mouthing the words. Anything to make them penetrate the late-day haze surrounding her brain.

Ten minutes later, she flipped closed the research book and pushed her chair away from the desk.

Done. It was Friday. It was past 5:00 p.m. It was sunny. As if that weren't enough to please the residents of Halifax, it was the start of the Natal Day long weekend, Halifax's civic holiday. Three days off. In the middle of summer. She was crazy to be sitting at her desk. And from the hush outside her office, it sounded suspiciously as if she was the only lawyer still lingering.

The phone rang while she was shoving files into her briefcase. She stifled a groan. It had better not be a client. With a quick glance at the pure blue sky beyond her window, she snatched the phone off the cradle.

"Hey there."

Kate's shoulders relaxed at the sound of Natalie Pitts' throaty voice. "Hi, Nat." She balanced the phone in the crook of her neck and began stacking the reports she would take home with her.

"What're you up to tonight?" Natalie Pitts had been Kate's best friend and roomie during her university years. She had moved away after she finished her degree in journalism, only returning in May with high ambitions and a broken heart.

Kate eyed the pile of case reports she'd assembled. It was disappointingly thick.That's what happens when you don't get your work done, Kate. Well, at least she didn't have to lug home that massive personal injuries book. "I'm heading down to the Economy Shoe Shop later tonight with the gang from work—you know, Joanne and some of the other associates." After Kate saved McGrath Barrett's ass in May, she had suddenly been on everyone's speed dial. And, Kate had to admit, they were a decent bunch of people, despite the professional elbowing. All of the junior associates were younger than she, still on the singles scene. Kate and Joanne were the only associates in their thirties who were partnerless. The ones with kids hurried home on Friday nights, glad to put the workweek behind them. "Do you want to come?"

"Can't tonight. I've got to work tomorrow." Nat had miraculously landed a job as a reporter for the Halifax Post, no mean feat in the internet-plagued newspaper business. "Do you want to go out for supper before you meet your friends?"

Kate hadn't seen Nat since last week. But Alaska, her Siberian husky, had been waiting all day. Even though her dog walker, Finn Scott, took him for walks, she still felt guilty if she didn't come home right after work. "Do you want to come over for a bite, instead? My kitchen is under drop sheets, but we can eat on the deck."

"Sure. You can give me the tour. I'll bring takeout. See you in an hour."

"Can you make it for seven? I've got some errands to do and I'd love to go for a run." Kate smiled. "I was able to do the full route on Wednesday."

"Hallelujah! So the leg didn't bother you too much?" Kate's quadriceps had received a nasty stab wound from a scalpel in May—one of several injuries she'd sustained in her battle to the death with the Body Butcher, the city's first serial killer.

"Not too much." Kate shrugged. "Anyway, I can't baby it any longer."

"You mean, you won't baby it any longer."

"See you at seven." Kate hung up before Nat could chide her further. Her leg hadhurt after the run, but Kate wasn't going to admit it. It was worth the tradeoff. Running was what kept her on an even keel. The rhythmic motion, the synchronization of her heart and lungs with her pumping legs, the fresh air.

There was one other benefit she hoped to gain by resuming her hour-long run: sleep. She hadn't had a full night's sleep since she survived Craig Peters' attack. Dr. Kazowski, the therapist who had begun counseling Kate after the trauma she had gone through, thought that if Kate returned to some of her usual routines, especially ones that helped relieve stress, the nightmares might stop. Or at least decrease in frequency.

It was the only nudge Kate needed. And today the weather was giving her its blessing.

She hurried into the foyer, the pile of case reports haphazardly stacked in her arms, a sheen of sweat on her forehead and a smile of anticipation on her lips. In an hour, she'd be running with Alaska in Point Pleasant Park. She could almost feel the sea breeze on the back of her neck.

The quiet rush of a newly installed water feature was the only sound in the reception area. It provided a stunning foil to the equally new art installation that hung kitty-corner from the elevators, and served as a perfect backdrop to the new, postmodern furnishings.

Kate jabbed the elevator button. A trickle of sweat slid down her spine. The air-conditioning had been turned off for the weekend while she was on the phone with Nat. Warm air had already begun to settle in the reception area.

The lack of human sound prickled the hairs on the back of Kate's neck. Ever since her experience in Keane's Funeral Home, silent places were ominous.

To distract herself, she studied the redecorated lobby. After the hits the former Lyons McGrath Barrett had taken to its standing a few months ago, the firm was working hard to restore its sterling reputation. It needed to recover some of the clients that had fled in the wake of the TransTissue scandal. Managing partner Randall Barrett—the Barrett in McGrath Barrett—had hired a public relations company to relaunch the firm under its new name. In an effort to distance itself from the scandal that now tarnished its prestige, McGrath Barrett had redecorated the foyer and launched a new ad campaign.

The campaign zeroed in on the firm's best asset: Kate Lange—the woman Randall Barrett had almost fired just months before. The irony was delicious. Kate had become the firm's new poster girl, her Mona Lisa smile featured above the sloganIntegrity. Excellence. Caring. The joke in the firm was that Kate cared so much about her clients that she'd kill for them.

Rumor had it that Randall Barrett had chosen the new furnishings in the lobby and Kate had to admit he had a good eye. She wondered what her hundred-year-old house would look like with a postmodern theme. Probably pretty nice.

Too bad she couldn't afford pieces like that. She glanced at her watch. If the darn elevator ever arrived, and the traffic wasn't too heavy, she could stop at the hardware store and get the paint for the kitchen trim before she went for her run.

She shifted the load of files in her arms, rubbing the straining muscles of her right forearm.

The elevator chimed. Kate's nerves jolted. She gritted her teeth. Her reaction to startling noises was driving her crazy. Dr. Kazowski told her it would go away in time, but so far there was no sign of it being in a hurry to leave. She yanked the strap of her briefcase back up to her shoulder, unsettling the pile of reports in the process, and hurried into the elevator.

"Hi, Kate." Randall Barrett stood in a dim corner of the elevator. He gave her a friendly but distant nod, the typical interaction of a senior partner with a junior associate.

"Hi." Kate hugged the reports to her chest, darting a sideways glance at him.

It was the first time she'd seen him in weeks. The first time she'd been alone with him since she'd returned to work in early June.

Randall's face was tense, preoccupied. He did not exude his usual vitality. In fact, he looked exhausted.

Kate stared straight ahead, unwilling to let him see how much his presence got under her skin. Did he sense her tension? she wondered. Whatever you do, don't babble, Kate.

At the fourteenth floor, he broke the silence. "Any plans for the weekend?" His tone was courteous. That was all.

She shifted against the wall. "Not too much. Just painting my house." She nodded toward her overflowing arms. "I'm working on the Great Life case. It's taking a lot of time."

That should make him happy. Lots of billable hours.

He nodded almost absentmindedly. "Good."

The silence grew as the elevator descended. Kate studied the numbers above the door. Eleven, ten. She heard Randall's breathing. The elevator was stuffy. She became aware of the faint scent of his sweat. Something she'd never smelled before. She darted another glance at him. He was oblivious to her.

She turned her face away. For the past three months, she'd wondered if she'd just imagined his interest in her. Then she'd tell herself, no, she hadn't dreamed his visit to her hospital room. And she knew there'd been a tenderness to his gaze the day she returned to work after recovering from her injuries.

But it had all changed. Almost overnight, he had become distant. Had seemed to avoid her. Definitely letting her know by his cool greeting and remote smile that whatever moments had been exchanged between them during the TransTissue file were not going to be repeated.

Maybe he'd been faking it. Maybe he'd just been using her to help shore up McGrath Barrett's rocky reputation after the TransTissue scandal.

He stared at the elevator doors, his shoulders tense, his expression brooding. A man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. She wondered what he did in his spare time. Did he play sports? Read books? Go on dates?

The fact that she knew so little about him was another indication that she should just leave well enough alone. Whatever drew her to him could not be founded on anything that promised a permanent residence for her battle-weary heart.

The elevator stopped at P1, chiming Randall's departure. He moved toward the doors. "Have a good month, Kate." Month?

He must have read the surprise in her face because he added, "I'm beginning my vacation."

"Really?" He didn't have the air of a man about to take a holiday.

He arched a brow. "Really."

The doors slid open.

"Are you going anywhere?"

"I'm going sailing." He stepped out of the elevator. "With my son."

With a brusque nod, he disappeared into the shadowed concrete corridor of the parkade.

Kate watched the elevator doors close. Not even a goodbye.

She exhaled, staring at her dull reflection in the mirrored doors. Fine.

The elevator stopped at her parking level. She strode into the parkade, her step quick and purposeful. But it didn't matter. Her heart pounded. She could park on a different level, close to the elevator, always by an overhead light—but no matter the tricks she employed to fool her mind, her body always remembered the terror of being chased by a man intent on killing her.

She looked around. The parkade was empty.

That was almost worse.

She hurried to her car and unlocked the door, dumping her files on the backseat, then slid into the driver's seat. Only when the doors were locked and the engine was started did her heart slow down.

She eased her way out of the parkade. The brilliant July sunshine almost blinded her as she drove through the gate. It was surreal, after the dank interior she'd just exited. She rolled down her window. A warm breeze lifted the hair around her face.

This was why Nova Scotians slogged it through the winter. Because there was no better place to be in the summer if the sun was shining.

She felt her fingers relax on the steering wheel. She'd get the paint, enjoy her run, have supper with Nat and go for a few drinks.

No one would stop her from enjoying the sunshine.

Friday, 5:38p.m.

Elise Vanderzell stuffed a potato chip into her mouth. Damn, it tasted good. That's what she loved about road trips: the junk food. She knew she shouldn't indulge, shouldn't let her kids indulge, but this was their summer vacation.

And after the hellishness of the months leading up to it, they deserved to enjoy every salt-slicked, grease-laden bite.

She eased the car into the long line of rush hour traffic on Robie Street, glancing in her rearview mirror. Her son, Nick, lounged against the backseat. It was funny how you can see someone all the time and never notice anything different, but then throw a casual look at them one day and realize that the world had shifted.

It took Elise a moment to register what was different. Then it hit her: Nick seemed comfortable in his own skin. His body was filling out, no longer a tangle of gangly limbs connected to gargantuan feet. But it was more than that.

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becke_davis
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Guest Blog by Author PAMELA CALLOW

Dichotomy: di’chot’o’my

Def: Something with seemingly contradictory qualities

 

By: Pamela Callow

 

When DAMAGED (MIRA Books), the debut novel of my legal thriller series, was released in June, the fact I had written a dark, suspenseful thriller with a serial killer known as the Body Butcher took many people I knew by surprise – including my husband. I mean, he knew the plot of my book, but it was one thing to hear about it, another thing to actually read it.  To everyone I knew, I was the neighborhood mom, class mother, soccer team manager, field trip chaperone - the list goes on.

 

I was nice.

 

Several weeks after my book came, one of my fifteen-year-old neighbors called me. “Pam, I read your book! It was sooo good. And creepy!” she exclaimed. Then she added, “Oh my gosh, I thought you were this nice mom!”

 

Of course, my immediate reaction was that of a mom – some of the scenes were written in the killer’s point of view, and were rather disturbing. “Did your parents know you read it?” I asked.

 

After being assured they did, I was able to joke with her about it. But I’ve had a number of people make this comment to me. My homicide detective swears. My main character, in a moment of emotional distress, drops the F-bomb. People were shocked that I would use that language. “We’ve never heard you swear like that, Pam!” I explain that these are my characters. They are in extreme situations. “Gosh” doesn’t seem to cut it. Sometimes, when I’m being mischievous, I add, “You don’t know what I say in my head.” That often elicits a nervous chuckle.

 

And that is what seems to be unsettling. I seem like a nice mom.  (And I am! Really! Ask my kids…) Yet I write about dark, disturbing crimes. The dichotomy of perception versus reality. It is a theme I explore in INDEFENSIBLE, the second book of my thriller series. Kate Lange, a lawyer at a prestigious law firm, has just survived a very traumatic event that occurs at the end of DAMAGED. She’s suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, but to the world, she’s a minor celebrity. Then the ex-wife of the managing partner of Kate’s firm is found dead. The evidence stacks up, and he is charged with her murder. Again, perception plays a role in how the credibility of the evidence is weighed by various characters, including managing partner Randall Barrett himself. He also grapples with the perception of his own identity, as everything by which he defined his life – his profession, his career, his social status – crumbles beneath him.

 

I have been asked in interviews why I write crime novels. It is a good question.  It made me think about why I was drawn to the genre. I guess it is because I have always played by the rules. My life has been… safe. When I read about a crime in the newspaper, I often wonder what I’d do in that situation.  How would I react if confronted with a serial killer? Which instinct would kick in: fight or flight?

 

That is why my main character, Kate Lange, has no particular crime-solving skills. She’s not a detective. She is not a Crown Prosecutor. She is just an ordinary woman thrown into an extreme situation (more than once) and has to use her smarts and her willpower to survive. She isn’t always nice. She certainly isn’t safe. But she is willing to face her deepest fears to do the right thing.

 

And I believe that is why many people love this genre. Crime novels allow people to experience the gray area that exists between the black and white of the rule of law, where sometimes it is a moral choice that makes the difference.

 

What do you think? Have you met authors that are totally different from what you expected after you read their books?

 

Why do you like to read crime novels?

 

 

 

 

Author
PamelaCallow
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Re: Guest Blog by Author PAMELA CALLOW

Hi Becke,

 

Thanks so much for having me here today.

 

And wow - thanks for the amazing introduction. I've got the kettle on and am looking forward to chatting!

 

Pam

Join me at my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PamelaCallowAuthor?ref=sgm
www.pamelacallow.com
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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Author PAMELA CALLOW

Hi Pam - I just posted the link to your blog on Facebook; now I've got to get it up on Twitter. Be back with you soon!

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JMacLean
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Registered: ‎05-05-2011
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Re: Guest Blog by Author PAMELA CALLOW

Awesome!  Pam is great.  Love her books!

Author
PamelaCallow
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎05-05-2011
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Re: Guest Blog by Author PAMELA CALLOW

Hi JMacLean,

 

Thanks for dropping by! So glad you enjoy my series :smileyhappy:

 

Pam

Join me at my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PamelaCallowAuthor?ref=sgm
www.pamelacallow.com
Author
mary_kennedy
Posts: 304
Registered: ‎08-14-2009
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Re: Guest Blog by Author PAMELA CALLOW

So glad you are visiting today, Pam. Going to post the link on FB, I know your fans will want to join in.

 

 I love the book trailers, they are fantastic, and really capture the mood of both books.

 

That was a terrific blog, you are so right, perception is everything. I was really drawn to the character of Kate--she's smart, strong, resourceful and I think it was an advantage that she's not a detective, not a special agent, etc.

 

 I think it's always more dramatic when everyday people are caught up in high drama, I find myself wondering how they will react. Will they rise to the occasion, will they lean on others, will they crumble under the pressure, etc.

 

And I like the way you reveal the characters bit by bit. As the book goes on, we learn more and more about Kate and Randall--their motives, their dreams, their flaws. As a psychologist, I always think of a jig saw puzzle when I meet a new patient. How long will it take until a true picture emerges? How many pieces of the puzzle will I need to really get a handle on this person? (And what if they're holding back a few pieces of the puzzle in their pocket...that happens more than you think <g>).  

I know this is going to be a great discussion!  

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becke_davis
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Re: Guest Blog by Author PAMELA CALLOW

 


JMacLean wrote:

Awesome!  Pam is great.  Love her books!


Thanks for stopping by!

 

Moderator
becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Guest Blog by Author PAMELA CALLOW

 


mary_kennedy wrote:

So glad you are visiting today, Pam. Going to post the link on FB, I know your fans will want to join in.

 

 I love the book trailers, they are fantastic, and really capture the mood of both books.

 

That was a terrific blog, you are so right, perception is everything. I was really drawn to the character of Kate--she's smart, strong, resourceful and I think it was an advantage that she's not a detective, not a special agent, etc.

 

 I think it's always more dramatic when everyday people are caught up in high drama, I find myself wondering how they will react. Will they rise to the occasion, will they lean on others, will they crumble under the pressure, etc.

 

And I like the way you reveal the characters bit by bit. As the book goes on, we learn more and more about Kate and Randall--their motives, their dreams, their flaws. As a psychologist, I always think of a jig saw puzzle when I meet a new patient. How long will it take until a true picture emerges? How many pieces of the puzzle will I need to really get a handle on this person? (And what if they're holding back a few pieces of the puzzle in their pocket...that happens more than you think <g>).  

I know this is going to be a great discussion!  


Mary - Thanks so much for bringing Pam's books to my attention! I already bought them, but books sometimes get buried in my TBR pile. :-(

 

Distinguished Correspondent
1AnneB
Posts: 848
Registered: ‎08-03-2009
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Re: Guest Blog by Author PAMELA CALLOW

Hi Pam - Welcome to the B&N Community - I follow you on FB and in one of your contests I won Damaged and Indefensible "signed" !!!! I loved both of them. Dichotomy is a good word - I think it may fit all of us at one time or another. I can't wait to read more of your books....keep them coming.

 

Anne

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becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
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Re: Guest Blog by Author PAMELA CALLOW

 


1AnneB wrote:

Hi Pam - Welcome to the B&N Community - I follow you on FB and in one of your contests I won Damaged and Indefensible "signed" !!!! I loved both of them. Dichotomy is a good word - I think it may fit all of us at one time or another. I can't wait to read more of your books....keep them coming.

 

Anne


Hi Anne! It's always great to see you here!

 

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CherubsLibrary
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Registered: ‎05-03-2011
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Re: Guest Blog by Author PAMELA CALLOW

OMGosh!  A new author and series to follow!  This was a great interview/blog and I'm eager to checkout your website and read your books! Have to go count my pennies so I can go buy...

Thanks!  Karen C