Gloria has been a  member of Crime Writers of Canada since 2008. Cheat the Hangman was a finalist in the 2009 CWC Unhanged Arthur Ellis contest and was published by Imajin Books in 2011. She won the 2010 Unhanged Arthur Ellis award with Corpse Flower which is presently awaiting publication and she is working on the sequel, Murder by Moonflower. She lives in Guelph, Ontario and wishes she was thirty years younger so she could dress like a Goth all the time, not just at book signings.

Gloria Ferris

Follow me on Twitter @GloriaFerris

CHEAT THE HANGMAN by Gloria Ferris

Shortlisted for the Crime Writers of Canada Unhanged Arthur Ellis Award

Lyris Pembrooke’s life is forever changed when she inherits her late uncle’s antique-filled Georgian mansion and discovers a small corpse hidden in the tower room, an old mystery that becomes Lyris’ obsession and forces her to acknowledge that she will find the answers she seeks only through the intervention of Leander, her spirit guide, and her own budding psychic talents – if she dares to cross that threshold .


                “Cheat the Hangman” was not the first mystery I wrote about Lyris Pembrooke and her adventures at Hammersleigh House. The first story was called “Family Secrets”, not terribly catchy. Just plain terrible. I knew when it was done that it read like a Victorian maiden’s diary. If one word would do, I used twenty. There was some good writing in there, but those passages were buried by too many words. It was unfixable and I almost gave up.

But I loved the characters and setting, so I set it aside and started a new story where the first one left off. I was working full time and raising a family, so I wrote on weekends and holidays. I worked at a nuclear power plant as a technical writer and I believe that editing operating procedures helped me with my fiction. When you write instructions like: “TURN Valve V22 one-half turn left”, or “DO NOT open gasket while pump is in operation” all day long, adverbs and adjectives flee your vocabulary.

Novel number two was done. I edited many drafts. Something was still wrong. Maybe the title again? “Family Sins” wasn’t any better than “Family Secrets”. I set it aside as well and started a third novel, featuring a different small town and different characters. My sister-in-law, Donna Warner, an experienced editor, who is now my publicist, editor, and chief butt-kicker, wanted to read the  new novel I was creating.

I don’t like anyone scrutinizing my writing until I’m done with it, so I handed her novel number two, “Family Sins” – are you still with me? – and said, “Here. Read this one.” I figured she would throw it back at me and say, “This really sucks. I’ll pass on the one you’re writing now.”

Instead, she said, “You know, I think we can do something with this.” Huh? Before I knew what was happening, the new book was set aside. Donna made some editorial suggestions, I allowed a few other people to read and make suggestions,  and I added a paranormal element to the story. Finally, one summer afternoon, we were sitting around the dock at Donna’s cottage daintily sipping a few coolers trying to come up with a better title for the newly edited (again) “Family Sins”.

I have to confess I’m not great at titles (in case that isn’t already blaringly obvious). We spent hours tossing around words to Name This Novel until I was ready to call it “Quits”. Literally. It was Donna who suggested “Cheat the Hangman” and immediately I knew it was the one. It was perfect.

We clinked bottles and I sent the manuscript to the2009 Crime Writers of Canada Unhanged Arthur Ellis Award contest. I was ecstatic to be one of the five finalists in a national contest. The road to publication has been a long one, but well worth it. “Cheat the Hangman” has been published by Imajin Books and reviewers have called it various things, ranging from hilarious, spinetingling, chilling, Southern Ontario Gothic, romantic, entertaining, to a nonstop guessing game. Wish I had time to tell you what happened to novels one and three. It’s a very exciting codicil.




Page Numbers Source ISBN:1926997239

Publisher:Imajin Books (August 23, 2011)


Product Description(From Amazon)

Lyris Pembrooke unearths a terrible family secret in the old mansion she recently inherited. Investigating the tragedy, she delves into the psyche of a damaged WWII soldier, aided by her irrepressible spirit guide and the family psychic.
After inheriting Hammersleigh House from her eccentric great-uncle Patrick, Lyris Pembrooke makes a grisly discovery in the tower room of the Georgian-style mansion―the mummified remains of a child.
To uncover the mystery, Lyris is aided by family psychic Aunt Clematis and Leander, a spirit guide with an attitude, who prefers hanging out with Winston Churchill and John Lennon. While nurturing a new relationship with Blackshore’s Chief of Police, avoiding her controlling ex-husband’s demands, hosting this year’s family reunion and engaging in a psychological battle with the mansion’s butler, Lyris is taxed to her limits.
During an oppressive summer heat wave, a tear in the gossamer veil that separates past and present forces Lyris to finally accept her psychic destiny. Driven to find out who murdered little Tommy Pembrooke sixty-eight years ago, she begins a journey back in time.

“Cheat the Hangman” book trailer:

Thanks, Gloria for taking the time out of your busy schedule to visit with us today!!

**Check at for our thoughts on Gloria Ferris'”Cheat the Hangman” in a few days!**

**Part of the 25 Days of Christmas giveaway with Imajin Books,check 12/1/2011  post for details**



FIRST FROST/TOUCH OF FROST Jennifer Estep—To promote the release of KISS OF FROST, we are giving away the e-only novella, FIRST FROST for free at the major eBook retailers from 11/28-12/5. Then TOUCH OF FROST will be available for 3.99 at the major eBook retailers from 12/5-12/7. In addition, TOUCH OF FROST will be the Daily Find at B&N’s Nookstore on 12/5 and will be available for 2.99 that day only.



Thanks to the wonderful Alexandra at Kensington we are offering 1 lucky commenter a copy of “A KISS OF FROST” by Jennifer Estep.Giveaway open for today only. Please no P.O. Boxes. Let us know if y ou twitter,faceboook or passed along to a friend…

*Please leave you email address in your comment to contact the winner with* 




Good morning Alison and thank you for visiting with My Book Addiction and More and Merry Christmas….

Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here. Though I have to say, I’m not allowed to say Merry Christmas until after my daughter’s birthday on December 4. She gets very testy about her birthday being overshadowed. My son’s the same way, but he was born in June when there’s no major holidays to compete with.


MBA: Tell our readers a little about yourself?

   ALISON: As you’ve probably guessed, I’m the mother of two wonderful and very understanding children. They understand when I have to write, understand when I start tearing my hair out and are really understanding about bringing me tea when that’s what’s needed.

Solving problems by putting the kettle on comes from my English mother. Unfortunately, neither my mother nor my father lived to see me published. They are with me in spirit. And when I need a little spiritual kick in the ass, I have my sister who, when she was dying of cancer, insisted I make time for writing and organized babysitting and respite care so it would happen.

MBA:  Why write Western Romance?

    ALISON: You can blame my father for that. He introduced me to Louis L’Amour when I was a teenager. Westerns like Silverado and the series Bordertown also influenced me. Texas Ranger Jase Strachan started off as a mash up of Padin from Silverado, Marshal Craddock from Bordertown, and L’Amour’s Chic Bowdrie. He’s his own man now, of course.

 MBA: What is your favorite things about the Christmas holidays? Why?

  ALISON: It’s all about family for me. Growing up, we spent the holidays with my mother’s sister and family in Montreal. En route, we’d visit my father’s sister and husband. No matter what the weather – or the misadventures we encountered – we’d always make that trip.

Now I spend it with my kids, my sister’s kids and a couple of might-as-well-be-family friends. We all get stockings and have a huge lunch. Before and after the big meal we get by on chocolate and candy canes.

MBA:  As the Christmas holidays draw closer, what is one of your fondest memories for the holiday?

ALISON: Christmas 1969 — yes I was around back then — we went to Mexico for Christmas in the family motor home. This was a very ugly custom-made motor home, not a sleek Winnebago. It had beds for eight. Twelve of us were travelling south: four Bruces, six Georges, Nana Nash and my then BF Lilly. Yes, my parents were crazy enough to invite an extra kid.
The six younger kids – which included me – slept sideways on the bunk over the driver’s seat. It had a storage area at the back where we could stick our feet. Sound precarious, but it was the bunk that my twin teenage cousins were using that collapsed. I’m pretty sure my aunt and uncle weren’t in the bed underneath when it happened. My cousins had to sleep on the floor until we got to Veracruz and got a tent. We had to step around them to go use the washroom — where Nana was set up in a cot.

We camped on the beach, spending most of the day outside and most of the evening huddled around a tiny b&w TV watching the Apollo 8 mission. I don’t remember what gifts we exchanged, but we came home with some truly tacky souvenirs and great memories.

MBA:  Tell our readers where to find you and where your books are available?

 ALISON: Under A Texas Star is available in paperback at , and Barnes & Noble; in Kindle format at, Nook format at Barnes & Noble, and multiple eBook formats at Smashwords.
Alison Bruce can be found at and

Thank you Alison for taking the time out of your busy schedule to visit with us today:



Publisher:Imajin Books (May 8, 2011)

ASIN: B00501H6YM

Product Description(From Amazon)

Disguised as a boy, Marly joins a handsome Texas Ranger in the hunt for a con man and they must bring the fugitive to justice before giving up the masquerade and giving in to their passion.
When Marly Landers is fooled by con man Charlie Meese, she’s determined to bring him to justice–even if it means dressing up as a boy and setting off across the plains to find him.
Texas Ranger Jase Strachan is also after Meese, for crimes committed in Texas. He joins forces with the young boy in a journey that takes them to Fortuna, where a murder interrupts their mission. Jase is duty bound to find the killer, no matter the cost.
Marly carries out her own investigation and comes to the aid of Amabelle Egan, the sister of one of the suspects. But appearances are deceiving, and Marly is mistaken for Amabelle’s suitor, making her a target for the killer. Not to mention, Charlie Meese is still out there.
Under the Texas stars, Marly and Jase are drawn together by circumstances beyond their control, yet fate plots to tear them apart. Will Marly finally get her man?
***Check at our thoughts on Alison Bruce’s “Under the Texas Star” in a few days!!***
**Part of the 25 Days of Christmas giveaway with Imajin Books,check yesterday’s post for details**