Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Making Your Dreams Come True with Janine McCaw

by Janine McCaw

“The Gilmore Girls meet Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

Fifteen year old Goth-chic Ellie has a lot of explaining to do. She’s just moved to the small town of Troy, fought with her uptight mother Helen, met the boy of her dreams and found a dead body on her sexy “new-age” grandmother Helena’s porch. All on the first night!

But Ellie’s not alone. Helen is hiding something. Helen knows all about the kind of eerie dreams her daughter is having — the dreams that show the whereabouts of the missing children of Troy — because she’s had them herself. But she’ll never admit it. Not while Ellie’s sex-crazed friend Ryan is safely behind bars for the murders. Helen knows what it’s like to be attracted to dangerous men.

Then there’s the little matter between Helena and Gaspar Bonvillaine, the teenaged vampire who is learning to feed on young prey. Now that he’s caught Ellie, he doesn’t know whether he wants to kill her or turn her to the dark side and keep her forever. Helena should have finished him off when she had the chance.

To survive the vampire feeding frenzy surrounding them, mom Helen needs to come to terms with her own insecurities and deal with the gifts she has. Helena must learn to ground herself for the good of mankind and more importantly her own family. And Ellie has the toughest choice of all. Ellie must decide whether its time to let her own childhood go and become the woman she is destined to be, one of the ageless and timeless “Helens of Troy”.


HELENS-OF-TROY is the second novel completed by Janine McCaw.  For the Vancouver-based novelist it is the continuation of a dream, and the fruit of years of working in a different creative realm.

McCaw’s deep understanding of compelling plots, widely appealing characters, natural dialogue and strong story arcs comes directly out of her early career in the film and television industry. McCaw’s skills as an observer started early when her family uprooted from the City to small town Ontario – and she became the classic fish out of water.  Writing down her thoughts became an outlet as she scribbled her way through childhood, while she also developed her observational skills and visual eye with photography.  A die-hard hockey fan, McCaw studied Cinematography at Humber College, and was headed for a career as a cameraperson covering professional sports when she landed an internship in a broadcasting services company. 

McCaw excelled in the television distribution arena.  She joined Thomas Howe & Associates and moved with that company to Vancouver, where she distinguished herself with her talent for identifying the right product for the right market, and her people-skills in negotiating contracts. After furthering her professional development with several high-profile Canadian entertainment companies, she parlayed her reputation as a leading Cable Programming specialist into her own boutique firm.  Formed with a partner, Dark Horse Ent. specialized in finding, and selling, niche Canadian television series - entertainment, information and variety - around the Globe.  McCaw also acted as an independent executive producer on award-winning television Classic Car series,  CHROME DREAMS, and as a distributor for series including ENTRÉE TO ASIA, and AT HOME WITH HERBS.

In high demand as an insightful, humorous and engaging guest speaker, juror and analyst for festivals and trade forums around the country, McCaw also spent large amounts of time traveling abroad to television markets.  Writing relieved the stress of constantly being on the road.  Increasingly, she turned her main hobby into outlines for novels, and finished fleshing out the characters, plot and dialogue for OLIVIA’S MINE, a fictional account of a young bride’s struggle to make a life for herself against the backdrop of the disasters that hit Britannia Beach, British Columbia in the early 1900s.  The book was released in 2006 and continues to be sold at the British Columbia Museum of Mining.

HELENS-OF-TROY was released early in 2012.  McCaw is also currently developing eight other stories for novel form.  All set on the Pacific North West and in Canada’s North, they include the murder mystery A LITTLE FIRST DEGREE,  a feel-good trilogy THE INN AT HAZY WATERS (Northern Exposure meets Fantasy Island), and PUMPER an action romance that has already garnered interest as the basis for a feature film.




Author Website -www.helens-of-troy.com
Twitter: mc_janine

Making Your Dreams Come True in 2012
Like most of you, I pledged allegiance to the flag of the New Year, vowing to dedicate a great part of my day to writing. I even joined a club, promising to scribe 500 words a day, a no-brainer for this finely tuned brain of mine. In the beginning, the brain co-operated, spewing forth words of wisdom at an incredible rate.  But you know how the story goes. Life kicked in, worked kicked in, and I got kicked out of the club because I fell behind on my word count. Within two weeks! Not a great start to 2012 from that perspective.
                So I called a "do-over."  You probably didn't know that 2012 has been sanctioned the year of dominus dooverum or something like that, but I have it on good authority that it has. Particularly if you made these error of judgments after a particularly good bottle of post-Christmas cheer. It's like a manufacturer's rebate and it works like this.  Make a list of the ten things you wish to accomplish for yourself in April. Things that make you feel enriched and good about yourself. Got it? Great. Now cut it in half. Move half of it into May because you always were an over-achiever and you're not going to get it done anyway.  With the five things left on your list, dedicate a portion of time each day to one of those tasks. Do what you say you're going to do for these five days. Take two days off during this week. Start again next week dedicating more time to the task until it is accomplished. You've got four shots at it. Better odds than Vegas. The pressure will be off, and you will find yourself enjoying these minutes you have set aside to reach your goal.
                If all this fails, go back to that bottle of post-Christmas cheer (if there's any left), drink it, and proclaim to someone you don't particularly get along with, that "I am going to blah, blah,blah" by the end of the year." Make certain to do this in public. When you're reminded of this public outburst, and you WILL be reminded of it, the pressure will be on and you will get it done. Probably pulling all-nighters in December, but you will get it done.
                Seriously, we all are living hectic lives these days, and the best thing we can do to make our dreams come true in 2012 is to be kind to ourselves. Dreams are great but goals are even better because goals are easier to achieve. Dreams don't have a whole lot of realism. Goals do. Dreams are short.  Goals take time.  Set a small goal. Achieve it. Set a bigger goal, work towards it.  Taking small steps along the way is the easiest way to climb that hill to your dreams without giving yourself a heart attack on the way up.  You don't want to be out of breath when it's your turn to scream "I'm the King of the world", now do you?


 “I don’t envy him,” Helen said to Helena as she tightened a fuchsia-hued scarf around her neck. It clashed with her coat, but it was the only one she could find while scrounging through Helena’s hall closet. “Having to tell a parent you can’t find their child,” she continued, “that would be a horrible thing to have to do.” She thought about all the times Ellie had threatened to run away when she was younger.

 “It makes finding the odd body on a porch swing seem like a walk in the park, doesn’t it?” Helena said sarcastically. “I’m sure our bad days don’t even compare to theirs. I have to clean up snot all the time when I’m teaching someone how to use a neti pot. They scrape brains off of windshields after a head on collision. Neither are pleasant, but really…”

 “Okay. Don’t get so defensive. Or descriptive. I take back what I said about the police and the cereal box,” Helen said. “Neti pot?”

 “Think nose bidet. And thank you. But it doesn’t get you off the hook. You still need to tell Ellie about Willie.”

 “Who’s that plump, curly-haired woman who’s glaring at us?” Helen asked, in an attempt to distract her mother. “I’m not getting a love vibe from her.”

“You mean the one dressed in the neon pink tracksuit?”

 “Yes. She’s got to be cold in that outfit. Not to mention embarrassed. Never wear neon after Labor Day. Or ever, really.”

“That’s Betty Lachey, Ryan and Stan’s mom and our illustrious neighbor. With any luck she’ll be hibernating soon and we won’t see her until spring.”

 “That’s not very nice.”
“Nor is she,” Helena laughed. “She hates us.”

 “Us? How can she hate me? She doesn’t even know me.”

“Hate by association,” Helena said, forcing a smile and giving her neighbor a wave. “There’s a small town attitude in Troy, I’m afraid. You’ll get used to it. I did.”

“Is there a Mr. Lachey?” Helen asked, nodding politely to the woman.

 “That subject is strictly verboten if you happen to want to keep the peace. Betty got sick of him constantly hanging around the house and told him to get a hobby. Well he did. A five-foot-six Texan named Traci. She was a brassy woman with guns from the double D ranch, if you get my drift. He ran off with her two summers ago.”

“Well, that explains why she hates you.”

 Helena looked at her daughter. “For the record, I never even looked at her husband.”

Hate by association,” Helen answered.


What are you wondering, Ellie?” he asked, as if reading her mind. “Are you wondering whether it’s better for me to kill you now or later?”

 “I was, yes.”

 “And what did you decide?”

 “I was thinking later would be good.”

 “Me too.”

“So, you’re going to let me go?” Ellie asked hopefully. “We can still be friends. Maybe even go to a movie sometime.”

 “Go?” he laughed. “What ever gave you that stupid idea? I’m still going to kill you. Someday. We’re just going to take a little detour. I’m going to take you to hell and back, and then it’s off to grandmother’s house we go.”

 He pulled a switchblade from his pocket.

 “What are you doing?” she asked, terrified to hear the answer.
“You’re too perfect, Ellie.”

 “What’s that supposed to mean?”

 “They’d never believe it. The rest of them. They’d never believe that girl like you would want a boy like me.”

“Then they’d be right.”

He grabbed her arm and pushed up her sleeve. The edge of the knife was cold as he very lightly drew the blade across her wrist. No blood flowed, but it scared the shit out of her, he could tell.
“There’s this thing that happens,” he began to explain, “when one of us wants one of you. Forever. We make a nice little slice in an artery, like this vein hidden so delicately under your skin. Then we suck the consciousness from you, almost to the bitter end. But just before you take your last breath, we give you back one.”

 He saw the the terror in her eyes.

 “Which means?” she asked, her voice barely audible.

 “Which means I bring you back to life. And then you are my slave.”

 He took the edge of the knife and gave her skin a poke. Droplets of ruby red blood rose to the surface. He raised her arm to his lips, his tongue darting to the blood in a slow, deliberate lick.

She felt a warm uneasiness run through her. The initial unpleasantness was replaced by something she could only describe as anesthetic-like. She felt euphoric. Her senses were going into hyperdrive. She could see the miniscule pores on his skin. She could smell his perspiration. She could hear his heartbeat. She found none of it unpleasant.

“Does that give you some idea, Ellie?” he asked. “Of how magical it could all be?”


Patti Hultstrand said...

Here we are again.
Come by and read about this book and it's author. Let her know what you are thinking about what she has to say and about this book.

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