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Murder mystery writer at book signing this Saturday John Curry john.curry@metroland.com

EMC news - It’s her first novel but it is also the first book in what is going to be the Megan Scott/Michael Elliott mystery series. So you know that author Sandra Nikolai is not stopping with this first e-published novel called “False Impressions” and that more books are coming. Indeed, she says that she has the second book of the mystery series well underway and it even has a title – “Fatal Whispers.” And, in addition, she says that she has a third book already in mind, something that she started years ago. Ms. Nikolai has opted for a series because she believes that readers prefer reading books in a series because they get to know the characters and like to follow them through their various adventures. She herself, as the author, admits that she keeps a virtual library of the characteristics of her characters, including pages of descriptions of them and lists of what they like and don’t like. “False Impressions,” which was published through Amazon last August, features characters Megan Scott and Michael Elliott. Megan, who works as a ghostwriter, comes under police scrutiny when her husband is murdered. Michael Elliott, who is an investigative report-

er as well as a crime writer, also becomes a suspect in the murder. The pair, both in their 30’s, set out to try to solve the murder but run into on barrier after

JOHN CURRY/METROLAND

Author Sandra Nikolai holds a copy of her new murder mystery book “False Impressions” as well as a poster advertising her book signing event at the Gaia Java Coffee Company shop in Stittsville this coming Saturday, Dec. 1.

another. The novel is set in Montreal, a place that the author knows well because that was her home. Now living in Almonte, she admits that she has loved murder mysteries since she was a youngster devouring Nancy Drew mystery books. She feels that “False Impressions” will appeal to anyone who likes reading about crime investigation, sleuthing and police work. She says that there is a “touch of romance” in the book but that the book’s major focus is the solving of the mystery by Megan and Michael. Ms. Nikolai says that the biggest challenge for an independent author like herself is marketing. It takes a lot of time and effort, forcing an author to put writing on the back burner due to this pre-occupation with promotion. She tries to write each day from 9 to 5, although evenings and early mornings are also fruitful at times. “My best time seems to be about four o’clock in the afternoon,” she says about her writing schedule. “It’s a job – you have to look at it as a job,” she says in explaining her strict writing procedure. But she doesn’t mind this, saying simply that “It’s something I love.” She always prepares an outline before starting a book, although she admits that there are always some deviations from the outline when

the writing starts. “False Impressions” is written by Ms. Nikolai in the first person through the eyes of Megan Scott. She prefers to write narration, saying that she finds descriptive writing harder to do. Ms. Nikolai went the self-publishing route because over the past ten years, she had approached various literary agents and publishers with no success. So, about two years ago, she joined a critique group and then hired a professional editor to brush up the text, something that she says that every self-published author should do. She was fortunate that her daughter, Carolyn Nikolai, is a graphic designer and illustrator who formatted the 300 page book and designed the cover, making the e-publishing process easier. Ms. Nikolai is hosting a book signing for “False Impressions” at the Gaia Java Coffee Company shop at the Stittsville Shopping Centre (Shoppers Drug Mart plaza) on Stittsville Main Street in Stittsville this coming Saturday, Dec. 1 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. She will have copies of her book for sale, something that might be a great Christmas gift for that special friend. You will also be able to chat with the author about the book, about e-publishing and about writing in general if you wish. More information about author Sandra Nikolai can be found at http://sandranikolaiauthor.blogspot.ca/ .

Den Boer Associates, president of Powerhouse Communications Group Inc. and past vicepresident of Communications for the American Marketing Association’s Ottawa Chapter. The Community Builder Award honours individuals who work tirelessly, passionately and collaboratively to make Ottawa a better place in which to live, work and raise a family. Every year about 50 Community Builder Awards are presented by the United Way. Those receiving the award also have their names inscribed on the Wall of Inspiration at Jean Pigott Hall at Ottawa city hall which is a visible reminder to residents and visitors of the commitment that these individuals and organizations have made to Ottawa…The TD Canada Trust branch at the corner of Stittsville Main Street and Carp Road is once again this holiday season collecting toys for Toy Mountain. Right now there is a huge shortage of toys for boys and girls in the age 10 to 12 years old range. Donations to eliminate this shortage would be greatly appreciated…Jean Kerr, a longtime resident of the Amberway community and also a former longtime treasurer of the Stittsville Village Association who now lives at the Poole Creek Manor apartments on Stittsville Main Street, celebrated her 89th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 20…Elaine Carswell, who is now working at the Scotiabank in Stittsville, was a member of

the original staff when Scotiabank opened in Stittsville in October 1989 at its previous location at the Stittsville Shopping Centre (Shoppers Drug Mart plaza) on Stittsville Main Street…Probably the most popular person at the Stittsville Village Association’s annual general meeting on Thursday evening, Nov. 22 was newly born Elliot Hein who was there with his mother, SVA outgoing secretary and new director Tanya Hein but who spent much of the meeting cuddled in the arms of SVA directors Theresa Qadri and Christine Hartig. Even SVA director Tim LaPlante had a brief stint with Elliot in his arms at the end of the meeting…Last Saturday night’s fundraiser for Anderson Bihler at the Barley Mow pub at the Stittsville Corners shopping area (Stittsville Sobeys plaza) at the corner of Carp Road and Hazeldean Road was a sellout and very successful. The funds raised will help with the costs for treatment and other expenses for seven year old Anderson as he recovers from his brain aneurysm and massive stroke last June… The Knights of Columbus of Holy Spirit Parish are once again selling balsam Christmas trees this year. Sales will begin this Saturday, Dec. 1 and continue for three weeks at Holy Spirit Church on Shea Road unless the trees sell out before that. The Christmas trees are selling for $45 each...

What’s up, doc, around Stittsville? EMC news – The new concrete sidewalk running from Fernbank Road to Cherry Drive along the side of Stittsville Main Street at Bell Memorial Park was completed last week, including the spreading of topsoil to link the sidewalk with the surrounding ground…The excavation and early foundation work has happened for the second apartment building at the Orville Station project at Orville Street and Stittsville Main Street. The first apartment building, which was only partially completed on its exterior for months, has now had the work completed…St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at the corner of Stittsville Main Street and Mulkins Street has a spruce tree in its yard all lit up with blue Christmas bulbs, making for an eye catching sight for those passing by…Justin Phillips from Stittsville did not suit up for the Calgary Stampeders in last Sunday’s Grey Cup in Toronto as the defensive lineman has been on the team’s injury list… Entertainment by “The Diplomats” took place at the Stittsville Legion Hall following last Saturday’s Parade of Lights on Stittsville Main Street…The Stittsville Legion is hosting a New Year’s Day levee on Tuesday, Jan. 1 in its downstairs lounge with everyone welcome to attend. Lauren Hall will be performing from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. …There’s a Christmas and Holiday Craft Sale and Bazaar being held this Saturday, Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cheer Sport Sharks Ottawa gym at 119 Iber Road in Stittsville, featuring local artisans

and home based businesses. There will also be a silent auction. Santa will be there from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend…Christmas trees are being sold again this year beside the TD Canada Trust branch at the corner of Stittsville Main Street and Carp Road…Over the past year, the Stittsville branch of the Royal Canadian Legion has donated over $22,000 to veterans and their dependants in the Ottawa area. The funds come from the generosity of people in supporting the annual poppy campaign. Monies raised from the distribution of poppies and wreaths is used to help veterans and their dependants as well as providing bursaries for youth….Rotary Club member Cicero Silva from Sorocaba, Brazil, who is visiting with his daughter and her family in Stittsville, attended the Tuesday, Nov. 20 meeting of the Rotary Club of Ottawa – Stittsville. He was accompanied by his sonin-law, Andre Arapov…Patricia den Boer of Flewellyn Road was one of the recipients of a United Way Community Builder Award this year. Her community and professional endeavours which earned her this honour include chair of the iSisters Technology Mentoring board of Directors for the past five years and service on the Boards of the Queensway Carleton Hospital, the Women’s Bureau Network of Ottawa and the Diefenbunker Museum. She is chair of an Advisory Committee at Algonquin College’s School of Business and editor of Ottawa Wedding Magazine. She is founder of

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