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Patricia Crossley

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My occasional newsletter will be full of snippets:News about new books and stories, information on free downloads from my web site, announcements of contests and profiles of the winners. Each month I feature an author so you can find more great books, and I publish a 'postcard' short story. You could send me a tip or a short article and see your name in the next issue.

Click on to see a sample letter.
Newsletter Dated: 8/31/2002 4:42:13 PM

Subject: Winners, great reads and a new contest from Patricia Crossley

Patricia’s Occasional Newsletter (distributed only by request)

from author Patricia Crossley, Please stop by for a visit, read some of my extracts and reviews & pick up some free downloads.

August 31 2002.

Hello again! The subscriptions to this newsletter have continued to increase and I thank all those who have visited my web site or passed the address to friends. I hope everyone will stay with me, fo I have some great ‘short reads’ and offers lined up for you.


• The Symphony Splash
• The Lady Rose
• August Contest winners
• Dancing with the Devil
• September contest
• meet some authors
• this month’s postcard
• Grins and tonic
• Romance Club subscription- special free offer- advance notice
The Symphony Splash:
Since I talked to you last we have had our provincial holiday, BC Day, at the beginning of August, making a long weekend.

On Sunday evening of that weekend, we strolled down to the Inner Harbour for the Symphony Splash. Every year a huge barge is placed in the water in front of the Empress Hotel & the Victoria Symphony gives a free concert. People start to place their chairs on the causeway and on the grounds of the Legislature at crack of dawn.

Over twenty thousand people were there to enjoy the music.

The program is popular and light classical music and always features a very young local musician. This year it was an eleven year old pianist. They finish with the 1812, complete with fireworks and cannon fired by Navy cadets on summer course in Comox. Then one or two encores, and the pipe band plays ‘Amazing Grace’. It was incredible under the darkening sky, with dozens of tiny boats bobbing in the water, many with a single light, and row upon row of people on the land, to hear the whole crowd softly sing the hymn. Just a community sharing a very special moment.
The Lady Rose:
Later in August we took an old freighter, the Lady Rose along the magnificent Alberni inlet, a fjord that stretches many miles inland. The ship drops off everything from tractor tires to groceries for tiny, remote communities: logging camps, float houses, fishing lodges. The weather was perfect and I took lots of pictures, some of which I’ll post on my website. Watch for the address next month.
August Contest winners:
I’m happy to announce that the winner of the ARC of Journey’s End is: Lou Harris. Congratulations, Lou.

This book is available as an ebook from New Concepts Publishing: and will also be released in mass market print format in 2003

My contest was so popular that I added two runner up prizes that weren’t announced. I have awarded two print copies of “The Fireworks Display”. This short story was a prizewinner last year in Storyteller, a national print magazine. I added two small African carvings for. Gary Green and Laura Feeman. Congratulations Gary and Laura!

Thank you to everyone who entered. I think you will also like this month’s contest
Dancing with the Devil
My romantic suspense will be released in September in trade paperback. It was published in June in electronic format from Atlantic Bridge ( and is also available at Fictionwise ( It rose quickly on the romance chart and has received excellent reviews. All good reviews are music to a writer’s soul, but unexpected ones from a reader are doubly precious:

I’d like to share what A Killgore wrote:

“When Jazz gets word of her father's death, she and her friend, Pete, make a daring, dangerous escape from the tiny, war ridden country where they are working. Barely getting out alive, the danger should be over, right? It is only beginning.

.. Murder and violence are now what Jazz is being given. When an innocent child is put at risk, Jazz must face the past and her fears to confront a familiar enemy. In a showdown that for some reason reminds me of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, Jazz meets the greatest challenge of her life.

Suspenseful and taut, this novel is well worth the time and money. Ebooks often have little known authors that are worth discovering, and such is the case here. Jazz is a heroine that is easy to cheer on as she finds love and danger. Not perfect, she has weaknesses, which make her easier to relate to and more believable. Pete is a loveable hero, though not the alpha male that often populates the position. again rendering him more realistic. This is a story that could be real”

Here is a teaser passage from Dancing with the Devil:

It had all been so easy. A piece of cake. People were so stupid, so trusting. They met you a couple of times, believed they knew you and never thought twice about giving you just what you needed. Mac glanced into the rearview mirror. The kid was sleeping on the backseat, all tucked up in the sleeping bag he'd so thoughtfully provided. He had plenty of sleeping pills, the rug rat wouldn't remember anything. Just an extra dose at the end, when he and Jazz took off together and the kid would doze her way to eternity.
The thought of Jazz made his palms damp and he wiped them on the fabric upholstery. He imagined her fighting her way back to him. She wouldn't like it, but she would do it. He was so close to his dream he could taste it. He chuckled. It was perfect. The perfect plan. A slap in the face for Roadkill, a bit of light amusement dealing with the kid, and Jazz back with him of her own free will. The headlights stabbed the darkness ahead and the tires made a monotonous sound on the highway. The powerful engine purred contentedly. Mac took a jelly bean from the bag at his side, held it between his teeth for a second to savor the expectation, then popped it into his mouth and crunched down.

Jazz looked at Pete for a long moment. “You think he's alive, don't you?”
“I think it's a possibility we have to pursue.”
Pete's voice was low and calm. It steadied her roiling thoughts. She didn't like the probing, but she knew he was right to ask. She also knew beyond a doubt it would all have been infinitely worse if she'd had to deal with this alone.
“I was stupid,” she said vehemently.
“You made a mistake. Everyone's allowed at least one. I'll tell you about mine sometime.” He stood up. “Do you still want to leave town?”
She looked up at him. “Is it a good idea?”
“I think it's an excellent idea. My ex colleague can reach me on my mobile. And you'll be safer away from our friend the stalker, whoever he is.”
“Is he a stalker?”
“That's what I'd call him.”

Read the first two chapters and some reviews :
September contest:
To celebrate the print release of Dancing with the Devil, which is set mainly in and around Victoria, I am offering a studio CD recording of the Symphony Splash that I told you about earlier. In addition, two runners up will receive mini calendars and print copies of 'Saturday Night', a short story also set in Victoria. 'Saturday Night' was published in Storyteller magazine and is now available as a QuickPick from DiskUs publishing (

Meet some authors:

Howard Hopkins is the critically acclaimed author of more than 25 novels running the gamut from heart-stopping horror to gripping western drama. Best known for creating true-to-life, compelling characters, pulse-pounding suspense and startlingly vivid descriptions, his unforgettable tales capture readers' imaginations and lead them into realms of wonder. From the dusty streets of the Western Frontier to the fog-shrouded, fear-drenched seaside alleys of the present, Howard's books are not just novels--they're an experience!
Dark Harbors by Howard Hopkins/Where evil meets the shore lies Dark Harbor/ebook formats from
Author, columnist, book reviewer, and editor currently describe Cindy Vallar. Her debut book, THE SCOTTISH THISTLE, is a historical novel intertwined with a love story set during Scotland's Rising of 1745. "Romantic Times" gave it four stars and Rosemarie Brungard of "Romance News" called it "an epic Romance, an exceptional Adventure, a Historic masterpiece." Book Review Café recently awarded Cindy their Outstanding Author Award.

Cindy also writes a monthly column on the history of maritime piracy called PIRATES & PRIVATEERS for A retired librarian, she combines her love of reading with writing. You can read an excerpt from THE SCOTTISH THISTLE or her columns on pirates at her web site, Thistles & Pirates - ODIN'S STONE, a medieval short story set on the Isle of Skye, is also available for free download from her publisher,
NovelBooks, Inc. -
Pirate fans will want to check out PIRATES & PRIVATEERS -
This month’s “postcard”

From The Brink Of Death by M.D. Benoit

We spotted the tabby in a bottom cage at the Humane Society. When I picked her up; she squirmed and hissed. Laughing, I dumped her in my husband’s arms. As if she’d found her soul mate, she sighed and closed her eyes. It was love at first sight, for both of them, so we brought her home. We named her Slinky. She was 12 weeks old.
Slinky was Daniel’s cat. On the day we brought her home, they started this routine. He’d sit down in his easy chair to read. She’d climb on his lap, start purring; they’d both fall asleep. Daniel says that Slinky’s purr is more relaxing than New Age music.
Everything went relatively well for the next three years. I’d feed her, brush her, change her litter box. She’d ignore me, adored Daniel. Then, one day in November, she began throwing up. Not to worry, I said. Hairballs, probably. Near Christmas, before we were leaving for a weekend to visit family, her right eye became red. Not to worry, I said. Probably some dust from the litter box. When we came back, though, her eye was completely closed, the other one on its way. She also had severe diarrhea. Time to visit the vet.
Diagnosis: Feline Infectious Peritonitis, commonly called cat’s AIDS. Incurable.
With FIP, the cat is unable to metabolize food. She was slowly starving to death. Her immune system weakened, it wasn’t able to fight the herpes in her eyes, nor the form of dysentry she’d contracted from who knows where since she’s an indoor cat. The vet said Slinky already had the viruses in latency, waiting to develop.
Just before New Year’s day, my vet warns me: if Slinky is not better at the beginning of January, we’ll have to euthanize her. In the meantime, I should try to give her this new type of food especially conceived for cats with severe allergies. If she can eat without throwing up, she has some hope.
I came back home with Slinky, and we had a serious talk. “Listen,” I said, “you’re not dying, and that’s that. Buck up, will you?” She hissed at me. I figure there was hope yet.
By then, she was wearing a collar to prevent her from scratching her eyes. She had three different types of eye-drops, two different types of antibiotics, and this special kibble that cost more than my first car.
Slinky began eating. She loved the food. No wonder, I thought. I wouldn’t mind steak every day either. She began to gain weight, although her eyes were still bad. Then, one spring day, I put her outside on a lead. She looked up at the sun, soaked up that vitamin D, and her eyes dried up. Another three months and she was deemed recovered.
She still has FIP, will always have it, a bit like someone with HIV. She has good days and bad days, but more good days than bad. She’s overweight, and that’s good. It means the food stays in.
And she still curls up on Daniel and puts him to sleep. But something’s changed, too. She follows me everywhere, needs to be close to me. She jumps on me and looks up at me adoringly with her big, green eyes, purring louder than a lawnmower. My vet says that the cat knew I saved her life and is grateful.
I’m not sure about that. I’ve always wondered who had been the most stubborn about keeping her alive: my vet, me, or the cat. I vote for the cat.
Meet M D Benoit: As long as she can remember, M. D. was either listening to her father's stories, or making them up herself. As a child having to do chores, many dishes were broken, or dust bunnies passed over, because she lived in her own imaginary world. Things haven't changed much since then --she still breaks dishes, and isn't much on housecleaning-- but instead of dreaming the stories, she writes them down.

What makes us human? Explore this concept by meeting a whole bunch of aliens that have no human features, but may surprise you by acting more human than the flesh-and-blood bodies.

M. D. currently lives in Ottawa with her husband and her cat (who is really an alien in disguise)
She was a finalist for the 2000 Dream Realm Awards and won Second place in the Focus West Writing Contest, The Ottawa Citizen, 2000.
. * Author of "Metered Space", a Sci-fi Mystery, available from

"I opened my eyes to utter darkness; in the flash second it took for me to come fully awake, I knew I wasn't in my apartment.

This darkness was like nothing I'd ever experienced. It was thick, closed, absorbing. Suffocating. I had a sense of what the emptiness of space would feel like. My body floated, aware of its cells disconnecting from each other, as if they drifted in a vacuum but stayed together out of whimsy rather than choice.

Maybe I'm dead, I thought. But if I were dead, how could I think I was dead? I'd always been certain that death would bring oblivion, but I still remembered everything. I remembered the pain. I remembered I'd lost the only thing worth living for. I remembered that I'd wished I'd died for the past two interminable years. No such luck.”

Next moth’s post card is a lovely short story about a ‘problem child’ from ateacher’s perspective by Judy Bagshaw.
Grins and tonic

Feel like a quick read and pick-me-up? Click on the grins and Tonic page at Canadian eauthors. (
I contributed the story about Henry, our St Bernard of dear departed memory. What a goofball that dog was!

Romance Club free offer NOT TO BE MISSED

Shhhh!!. This is advance notice, so the site isn’t live yet, but I wanted you to be aware in good time.(If you don’t know the site, the romance club is at will be a really great offer, so read carefully

The Romance Club Authors are putting together a unique and fun club for our readers - The Romance Club's READERS CLUB to go live in October. For the first time ever, romance and women's fiction readers can enjoy great full length novels, short stories, articles, recipes, news, reviews and much more, online, for an average of just $1.75 per month.

A single romance novel usually costs an average of $6.00. So for the price of just *3 1/2 romances*, you'll get at least 8-10 full length books PLUS lots of other great reading
I will let you know as soon as I hear that the site is ready for subscription.
And while we’re talking of free stuff, don’t forget that I have complete novels, short stories and recipe books on my website. Please come and help yoourself.
I’m interested in receiving your feedback on anything in this newsletter or on my website. I’ve kept the format of the newsletter simple, so that it doesn’t cause a problem in your system. Please email me at if you have any comments or suggestions. If you know anyone who would like to receive the newsletter, they only need to send me an email with ‘newsletter’ in the subject line. They can also subscribe through Authorsden If you no longer wish to receive the newsletter, let me know by email and I will remove your name from the list. Happy reading!

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