Character Interview with DEEPER'S Claire Martin.

Denver Painter Joins Art Festival Lineup

This week we’re profiling Denver landscape painter Claire Martin, 58, one of only five Colorado artists chosen for the annual Denver Art Festival, a world-class juried show held over Labor Day weekend in Civic Center Park. We caught up with Martin recently in her modest Berkeley Park studio.

How did you feel when you found out you’d been picked as one of only 200 exhibitors selected from thousands of applicants across the country?

I jumped up and down and did a little happy dance when I got the email. Of course it felt great to have the jury recognize my art, especially after some of the harsh comments I’ve received from local critics. I’ve worked very hard over the past several years to get to this point in my career. And I’m honored to be representing my home state of Colorado.

How would you describe your style of painting?

Initially, I was inspired by the European Impressionists, Van Gogh in particular. I work mostly in oils and acrylics.  I describe my style as contemporary, very colorful and highly stylized. My work isn’t something that most people walk up to and “get” immediately. You have to look closely before the painting begins to reveal itself.

You’re a rare Colorado native. Tell us a little about your background.

I grew up in Denver when it was little more than a cow town. Now it’s a thriving metropolis that still retains some of its Western character and charm, although I hate to see many of the old buildings being torn down in the way of progress.

I went to East High School and CU Boulder where I received my M.F.A. Aside from a couple of years in New Mexico, I’ve lived in Colorado all my life. I spent many years working as a graphic designer for some of Denver’s larger advertising agencies before going out on my own a few years ago.

You started your business in the midst of a severe economic recession.

Yeah. I’m sure several people, including my immediate family, thought I had lost my mind. But I believed I could make it work, and I’ve always been a bit of a risk-taker. 

You’re also a cancer survivor. How has that changed your outlook on life?

It might be more accurate to ask how has it not changed me. In my case, surviving a life-threatening illness put everything into sharp focus. Life is short, and if we don’t have the courage to go after our dreams, who’s going to do it for us?

I have a favorite quote from Goethe: ‘Nothing is worth more than this day.’ It’s become my mantra. I repeated it to myself daily when I was going through chemo and radiation and I still try to live by it. Take each day as a gift and make the most of it. None of us is guaranteed tomorrow.

What inspires you?

The natural world that surrounds me. I also try to see the beauty in ordinary places and objects. One of my paintings, Snowfield, was purchased last year by the Denver Art Museum.  It’s my version of an aerial view of a snow-covered cow pasture on Colorado’s eastern plains that I saw on a winter flight coming home to Denver. A local art critic complained that it looked like a bowl of chocolate chip ice cream.

And music. I love the soul, rock and folk music of the 1970s, bands like Hall and Oates, Deep Blue, Steely Dan, Boz Scaggs and the great Motown groups. So much good music was being made back then. I know I’m old school but I can’t get into rap and hip hop.

A couple of years ago you were named one of Mile High Magazine’s hottest singles over 50. Any change in your status?

{Laughter} Well, that started out as a joke. My best friend Denise Hrivnak is mildly obsessed with trying to manage my love life. She sent my photo to the magazine and the next thing I know I’m in the article.

I got a lot of Facebook friend requests from it, but at the moment, the only man in my life is my cat, Miles. I’m not sure Mr. Right is out there, and at this point I’m not willing to settle for less.

What can we expect to see next weekend at your festival booth?

I’ve completed a series of ‘rainscapes,’ images of historic buildings and places around Denver that no longer exist. I painted all of them on rainy days. I love how the colors of the landscapes are reflected and distorted by falling water.

Like tears for their demise?

You certainly could say that {smiles}. I guess people will have to come out and decide for themselves. In any case, I’m looking forward to a great weekend surrounded by some fantastic artists.








INFESTATION: Sometimes Truth is Stranger than Fiction

As the author of the new horror Qwickie, INFESTATION, which releases May 11th on Amazon, I’ve already been asked which parts of this story are fiction and which are “inspired by true events,” as the cover says. Well, the majority of the plot is based in truth. After moving to West Kelowna last May, we discovered one house pest after another.

First came the spiders. Those chapters are quite accurate. I know—ew! That was a definite infestation problem. Then we had mice—or so my husband and father said. For all I know, they could’ve been rats. Apparently we have packrats (wood rats) in the Okanagan. Double ew! My husband did find a nest and had to destroy it. The maggots and flies? Also quite accurate. We’re still getting treatments for the carpenter ants, and every now and then a body shows up somewhere.

Sometimes truth IS stranger than fiction.

So where does INFESTATION veer off into fiction? Let me say this: We were able to rid our home of all unwanted house guests—I mean, pests—and so far we have no other infestations. Or at least that’s what everyone is telling me.

Why did I write this story? I figured many of you, especially those who have phobias, would be able to relate. And those who enjoy stories that make their hair stand on end should find it enjoyable. Plus I figured that since each infestation cost me time, money and a huge spike in stress, I should make them “pay.” I may just need extra therapy after all this!

So if you haven’t picked up a copy of INFESTATION yet, please do. It’s currently on SALE for a limited time at only $0.99 US.

I hope you’ll join my INFESTATION launch party on Facebook, which runs May 11th from 7-9 PM EDT:

BONUS EVENT: Singer/composer Jesse Giles has produced a rock song, also titled INFESTATION, with lyrics I wrote (and I sing background), and we’ll be celebrating this at the party as well. We’ll be giving away ebooks and copies of the song. I have to tell you, it has a very catchy tune! And it’s NOT about bugs or rats. You can listen/buy here:



Author’s Bio:
Cheryl Kaye Tardif is an award-winning, international bestselling Canadian suspense author. She is best known for CHILDREN OF THE FOG (over 150,000 copies sold worldwide), SUBMERGED, DIVINE INTERVENTION, DIVINE JUSTICE, DIVINE SANCTUARY, THE RIVER, LANCELOT’S LADY and WHALE SONG.
In 2014, she penned her first “Qwickie” (novella) for Imajin Books™ new imprint, Imajin Qwickies™. E.Y.E. of the Scorpion is the first in her E.Y.E. Spy Mystery series. Book 2 in this series, Eagle E.Y.E., is expected to release later this year.

Booklist raves, “Tardif, already a big hit in Canada…a name to reckon with south of the border.”






Kathleen Duhamel's, Robert Silver from DEEP BLUE!

Deep Blue Does Denver

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Robert Silver and Art Hoffman bring their big band to Red Rocks on Sept.1 for a sold-out show. From a hotel room in Cincinnati, the voice of Grammy-winning Deep Blue talks about being on the road, the band’s future and his surprising life off stage.

You’re on tour again and we’ve heard rumors that there’s a new album in the works. You guys seem busier than ever. Have you given any thought to slowing down a bit, or retiring?

I don’t see retirement in my future. What would I do? I’ve been a professional musician for almost 40 years. This is all I know. I can’t see myself just sitting at home. For one thing, I’d get fat. And bored. I’m a Type-A, or so I’ve been told. I like juggling multiple projects and staying busy.

What are you doing differently on this tour? Are you trying out any new material?

We might try out a couple of songs from the new album, but mostly we’ll be playing fan favorites, plus a few tunes from other artists we admire. We almost always include something from Al Green, James Brown, a little Marvin Gaye and John Lennon. Our audiences have certain expectations, so you’re always gonna hear Somewhere to Fall, Minefield and our other hits.

What can you share about the new album?

It’s called Touchstone. All original tunes, more of the soul-infused rock we’re known for. I expect it will be out next spring and we’ll promote it during our upcoming European tour.

Tell us what life is like on the road in the 21st century.

Man, you are dating me {laughs}. When Artie (guitarist and musical partner Art Hoffman} and I first started out, we spent a lot of late nights riding in a bus, going from gig to gig. Now we have the luxury of flying to our tour dates. It saves wear and tear on an old dude like me.

Touring is a surreal experience, any way you look at it. You live for that two hours when you get to play music and do the thing you love. Then, after all the cheers and applause have died down, you go back to an empty hotel room. And it’s usually too late to call home.

On the road, it’s great to have people do things for you, like bring you food, fix your laptop when it goes down, make sure your wardrobe is taken care of. Then you get home and you still have to take out the trash and buy groceries like anyone else. It’s like being thrown back into an alternate universe.

Other than taking out the garbage, what’s it like when you’re home?

Robert Silver goes back in his box and it’s back to being Rob again. I’m actually a pretty quiet guy off stage. I’ve lived alone since my wife died a few years ago (long moment of silence). I’m a basketball fan and I just can’t give up on the Knicks although they’re painful to watch at times.

 And I really like to cook. I could spend all day hanging out in my kitchen with some new recipes (laughs) and trying them out on unsuspecting friends. Not exactly what people might expect, but that’s who I am.

You and Art Hoffman have one of the most successful partnerships in music history. When most rock duos have wound up hating each other, you still seem friendly.

We’ve always gotten along and respected each other’s talent. We may bicker like an old married couple, but we’ve never come across any issues that were serious enough to come to physical violence or cause a split.

I think we both consider ourselves lucky to be able to do this for a living. We thought we’d form a little rock band, write some songs and see what happened. Neither of us ever expected Deep Blue to last so long. And over the years, we’ve become co-dependent. The band couldn’t exist without both of us. I may be the front man and the voice, but when we’re on stage, Artie takes no prisoners. Anyone who’s seen our show knows that.

I read an article recently about a famous rock duo, who will remain nameless. They can’t stand each other. They never communicate unless they’re on tour, and then it’s always through their people. I can’t imagine what that would be like. What if I couldn’t bounce ideas off Artie? He’s more like a brother to me. A sarcastic pest of a brother, but it wouldn’t be the same without him {more laughter}.


About Kathleen Duhamel:

Kathleen Duhamel wrote and illustrated her first short story at the age of eight, and has never stopped writing. Her love of the written word continued throughout her varied career as a newspaper journalist and editor, public relations executive, freelance travel writer and owner/operator of two small businesses. A native of Texas, she spent most of her adult life in Colorado before relocating to Virginia last year, where she lives with her husband, step-daughter and a house full of animals. She is a lifelong devotee of rock and soul music, contemporary art and pop culture.







A Day With Imajin Books Author, Eileen Schuh.

Imajin Books author, Eileen Schuh, was invited to present her young adult novels to students at the Kehewin Community Education Centre earlier this month.

Schuh read a passage from THE TRAZ School Edition, the first book her gritty BackTracker series, to the older students and left some copies behind as a gift to the school.

Today she answers our questions about the highs and lows of that full-day visit.

Q: What was the most worrisome part of the day?

The school’s location wasn’t on google maps and I was scared I wouldn’t be able to find my way. Nobody could tell me if there was cell phone coverage in that area, either. I needn’t have worried; I found it okay. However, I mistakenly arrived a half-hour late. Once that was all behind me, my nerves settled and all went well.

Q: What was the intent of your visit and did you achieve it?

I discussed the role of my visit with the school beforehand and we settled on the general top of promoting literacy. As well, the school asked me to do readings as part of my presentation.  My intent was to inspire all age groups to become enamored with reading and writing and chose literacy as a life-long hobby. As well, I wanted the older students to consider the possibility of a career in one of the writing-related professions. Did I achieve that?  I’ve been told I will receive copies of the evaluations the teachers did of my presentations but I haven’t got them yet. From my point of view, I believe I was able to communicate my love of books to the students. When the high school students started sneaking copies of my books from the display and reading them as I was presenting—that, to me was the ultimate in success. If reading my book is more interesting than listening to me, I’ve done my job. I must admit, though, the teachers weren’t as impressed with the student’s behaviour!

Q: What was your most memorable interaction with a student?

During my break, a girl about nine-years old came into the lunch room with her teacher to show me the book she had written.  The teacher had stapled it together for her.  She had written it like a graphic novel, or a comic book (for those of us of my generation). It was about a girl who was upset because she thought her friends were bullying her. It ended up they were actually planning a surprise birthday party for her. I was blown away by the characters and the plot. The student felt so proud showing it to me. I was honored.

Q: An entire day of presenting to such a vast range of ages must have been both challenging to prepare for and to carry off. Would you do it again?

I have done many presentations over the years, to all age groups and in a variety of venues, so preparation wasn’t too time consuming. Once the school and I agreed on the focus of my visit (promoting literacy) and I chose my readings, the rest fell into place. The presenting was a bit more challenging, I’m just not as young as I used to be. My feet were very tired by day’s end and my voice, hoarse. I had great interaction with the students and staff, though. Time flies when conversations and questions take over. Yes, I’d definitely do it again, at the Kehewin school, or any other that invites me.

THE TRAZ also comes in a regular edition. All Schuh’s books are available both as eBooks and paperbacks on Amazon and other fine online book sellers. If they are not on the shelves of your local library or bookstore, you can ask to have them ordered in.


Schuh invites you to connect with her online:






Schuh would like to thank the WISP (Writers in Schools Program), for sponsoring her school visit. WISP is administered by the Canadian Authors Association Alberta Branch. She also thanks the Kehewin Community Education Center for matching the WISP speaker fee to ensure she could present to all four grade groups.


The first and biggest lesson you need to learn about being an author is that it’s not just about writing. In fact, I do less fiction writing now than I did before I was published. Now, in addition to finding time to write, I have to promote my books, do my share of promoting my fellow authors and not seem as if I’m constantly promoting while I do it.  I have to make advertising decision, manage my income and track my expenses. Being an author also means being an entrepreneur.

Caught up in the business of writing, you can forget that it is also an art. Awards remind us.

The Arthur Ellis Awards for Excellence in Crime Writing, established in 1984 and named after the nom de travail of Canada's official hangman, are awarded annually by Crime Writers of Canada. They are juried awards. For each of the eight categories, three judges are chosen. The judges include booksellers, librarians, teachers and award-winning authors. All are avid and knowledgeable readers of crime fiction in its many genres and none of them has a stake in which books are shortlisted or eventually win.

If you get shortlisted for an Arthur, you know it’s on the basis of your writing, not your relative popularity or sales record. It’s about your art, not the business side of being an author.

This year I am one of the shortlisted. Deadly Season, a Carmedy and Garrett mini-mystery is a finalist in the novella category. It’s a great feeling.

Kate Garrett recently inherited half her father’s private investigation company and a partner who is as irritating as he is attractive. Kate has been avoiding Jake Carmedy for years, but now her life might depend on him.

Kate and Jake are on the hunt for a serial cat killer who has mysterious connections to her father’s last police case. Kate’s father had been forced to retire when he was shot investigating a domestic disturbance. Is the shooter back for revenge? And is Kate or Jake next?


Alison Bruce has had many careers and writing has always been one of them. Copywriter, editor and graphic designer since 1992, Alison has also been a comic store manager, small press publisher, webmaster and arithmetically challenged bookkeeper. She is the author of mystery, romantic suspense and historical western romance novels. 

Spring Showers Sale Event!

It is that time of year again where, we like to give back to our awesome readers, and this year we decided to have it early with a Spring Sale!

Do you have a favourite author, or perhaps you've started a series, or trilogy and have not gotten around to getting the next book? Well, now is the time to do so, and at a discounted price!

You don't want to miss out on these fantastic deals!
Stock up on books for your KINDLE at these low prices. 

All ebooks are priced between $0.99 for single titles and $2.99 for bundles. 

Find all Kindle books here.

Find all Smashword books here. 


New releases: Up Chit Creek, Kiss & Tell, Descent, Lancelots Lady & Deep Blue

This late spring/summer we have released some awesome titles. Check them out!

UP CHIT CREEK (Qwickie) by Catherine Astolfo

No one is surprised that “nosy Rosie” is the one who finds poor Mr. Hummel in the garden. The surprise is the knife in his back. Nothing like this has ever happened in Chittendom Creek, let alone at the ReVisions Retirement Residence. When the oldies start dropping like flies, it’s Kira Callahan to the rescue.

KISS & TELL by Luke Murphy

Officer Charlene Taylor has received her dream promotion—working Homicide with the LAPD. Her first case is the high-profile murder of Ken Anderson, a playboy UCLA professor with a haunted past. A mafia kingpin, billionaire tycoon, cheated wife and jaded lover are only a few on a long list of suspects, all with motive and opportunity.

DESCENT by Kristina Stanley

When Kalin Thompson is promoted to Director of Security at Stone Mountain Resort, she soon becomes entangled in the high-profile murder investigation of an up-and-coming Olympic-caliber skier. There are more suspects with motives than there are gates on the super-G course, and danger mounts with every turn.

LANCELOTS LADY (German) by Cherish D'Angelo / Cheryl Kaye Tardif

Als Palliativpflegerin Rhianna McLeod von Milliardär JT Lance, ihrem dem Tod geweihten Patienten, einen Traumurlaub auf die Bahamas geschenkt bekommt, kann sie nicht ahnen, dass sie ihre ‚Ferien’ gestrandet auf einer privaten Insel mit Jonathan, einem irritierenden aber unwiderstehlich gut aussehenden Einsiedler, verbringen muss. Oder dass sie sich Hals über Kopf in diesen Mann verlieben wird. 

DEEP BLUE by Kathleen Duhamel

“Barely-not-starving” Denver artist and cancer survivor Claire Martin has almost given up finding an older man with a youthful spirit when she meets charismatic New York soul singer Robert Silver of the legendary band Deep Blue. She soon learns that hero worship can be dangerous, especially when the object of her desire comes with a disturbing past.

Our titles are also available at other retailers such as Kobo Books, B&N, GooglePlay, Smashwords etc., and many are available in trade paperback edition. Happy reading! :-)

'Share the Imajin Books Buzz' contest

July 1-31, 2015: Share our events on Twitter and Facebook, and share pics of our books on ereaders or you holding one, and receive entries into our Summer Sizzles Giveaway!

Grand prize winner: 12 free ebooks (winner’s choice). Plus 10 winners of single ebooks. Open to anyone 18+. Void where prohibited. Draw will take place the first week of August. Be sure to share it with your friends.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pre-order UP CHIT CREEK by Catherine Astolfo today!

An Imajin Qwickies™ Mystery/Crime Novella

No one is surprised that “nosy Rosie” is the one who finds poor Mr. Hummel in the garden. The surprise is the knife in his back. Nothing like this has ever happened in Chittendom Creek, let alone at the ReVisions Retirement Residence. When the oldies start dropping like flies, it’s Kira Callahan to the rescue.

To solve the murder, Kira enlists the assistance of her friends, The Flower Pots—so named due to their past and present semi-legal activity. But Kira is up Chit Creek when a final ingenious plan to capture the killer almost ends with a victim close to her heart.

Book Details:

ISBN:978-1-77223-082-6 (Kindle ebook); 2.99 US May 2, 2015

Language: English

Available at:


Barnes & Noble


Google Play