Friday, 1 April 2016

Hot-Walker History Links

Romance/Crime Novel
Mallory Neeve Wilkins

Follow the 5 links 
to read about Hot-Walker's background, history and events leading up to the novel Hot-Walker Life on the Fast Track - a novel inspired by true events. When Hot-Walker Frannie Harrison is witness to the violent murder of her fiance, an American draft dodger, at Woodbine Racetrack, Canadian horse racing becomes a murder trial that shocks the Toronto community.

ebook: Hot-Walker
Sports Novel

1.  Toronto Thoroughbred Racetracks

2.  Yorkville Village, Toronto 1960s

3.  Women in Horse Racing

4.  Toronto Court House - Murder Trial

5.  Blue Bonnets Raceway - 1960s

Book Trailer - youtube.... watch now!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Paperback Hot-Walker Life on the Fast Track

This novel took 30 years to complete... and 30 minutes to publish online.
Inspired by true events.

Check it out and enjoy the years of alternative lifestyle young adults during the 1960s Toronto in Yorkville Village. Watch the trailer, read the blog and step into the path of an innocent young woman, Hot-Walker Franne Harrison, as she struggles with denial and complicated relationships following the murder of her American draft-dodger fiance at Woodbine racetrack.
The murder trial that shocked Toronto community. Book Trailer for your viewing.

Available online.

Crime Sports Romance
1960s Racetrack
Murder Trial

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Interview with Author: Hot-Walker Life on the Fast Track

Book Clubs: Interview with Author

My personal favourite way of marketing my books is to get first hand information from my readers and how better way than to let them interview me, and be honest about what they read. Before going to self-publish, I offer proof-copies of the book to several different book clubs who in turn provide questions, feedback and other information that I find very important when editing and preparing for publication. 
I search for book clubs that are interested in the genre... mystery-crime for Hot-Walker... and then present the proposal. This is a sample of one idea that I used. 
book club participation in reviewing self published books
Invitation to Participate in Author Event

Searching the web, your city or bookstores for particular type of book clubs is the author's most important element so the group knows about the product and genre you are offering them. The meeting place can vary from a home, bookstore or library.

The groups that respond are offered the books at cost before you do your final edits. Usually, they have 2 weeks to read after all the books have been purchased - before the meeting.

Sample of the final review/meeting:
HOST:  Welcome, and thank you for the opportunity to review your new book. The list you provided us with the five questions was helpful so we could get an idea of what you were looking for...
- does the cover represent the story? 
- were the characters believable?
- what points of interest held your attention?  ...and what parts you liked best.
- were there any weak areas that lagged or did not hold your interest? ....suggest changes
- what other comments would you give the author as an overall review?
- rate the book out of 5

AUTHOR: I review the question sheets that the Book Club received (handed out with the proof-copy of the book beforehand.) Discussion takes place with questions and answers.
HOST: We would like to know more about the story of your writing the book.
AUTHOR: For me, writing is always an expression of personal experiences, relationships that I have had over the years in regards to the people and the places I have traveled. Most of my books have been written about my profession and photographs from my travels. Two novels have been written based on life experiences and storytelling. Writers write about their life, dreams, experiences, fantasies and relationships while others create stories from the news, friends, ideas that have come to them over the years. Simple or complex, every minute of the day an inspiration touches someone to write about it.
(And then I give a detailed background about the novel and how it unfolded.)

This type of review is also a way to receive editing, as some readers have personal interest in participating in these types of events. If some readers do/did edit, offer them a free ebook and paperback copy once your book is finished and published in exchange for their edit-copy.

For this type of marketing to succeed, I aim for 50 book club interviews, but to be honest, I have not yet achieved that many, but almost.

available online as well as ebook
Hot-Walker Book Club Interview

Friday, 14 November 2014

Canadian Horse Racing Novel: Hot-Walker Life on the Fast Track

Canadian Horse Racing Novel: Hot-Walker Life on the Fast Track is now online

Murder Trial Shocks Toronto Community.
Sports, crime and horse racing during the 1960s: the saga Hot-Walker Life on the Fast Track portrays the life and relationships of Hot-Walker Frannie Harrison and an American draft dodger living in hippie Yorkville Village. The crime-filled suspenseful tale reveals Frannie's days leading up to and following the murder of her fiancĂ© at Woodbine Racetrack. Grief-stricken, she struggles with denial and complicated relationships before escaping to Europe. When petitioned for trial, Frannie returns to Toronto to deal with the painful ordeal that produces shocking and devastating testimonies about life on the fast track.

Mallory's books on Amazon          Mallory's Bookstore at Barnes & Noble
Check it Out!

Hot-Walker Life on the Fast Track
paperback edition
available online
Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Canadian Horse Racing Novel, Hot-Walker. Court House - Toronto 1977

Hot-Walker - Horse Racing and Courtroom Drama

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.
Court House
The saga of Hot-Walker; follows the path of four friends and Francine Harrison who spend years racing thoroughbreds and living in the village of Yorkville, Toronto as well as Montreal, London, and Den Haag. She returns to Toronto where the murder trial of her fiance, an American draft dodger brutally killed at Woodbine racetrack in 1969, is being held. As the only witness to the horrific incident, Francine struggled with relationships during the years awaiting trial, hopelessly making an effort to move on with her life, until the mystery unwinds in 1977 at the Court House...

During the years when Francine and her friends lived in Yorkville Village, the first phase of the complex, Toronto Courthouse, (Completed by Toronto firm of Marani, Rounthwaite and Dick Architects) was opened (1966) at 361 University Avenue and the corner of Armoury Street. It was originally known as Metropolitan Toronto Courthouse. Additions to the structure were completed with the South Wing (1985) and a two storey addition to the courthouse (1987).
The project architect, Ronald A. Dick noted it as an important example of late 20th century Modern design, the largest of its type built in Ontario ... featuring an eight-storey complex for courtrooms and offices connected to the three-storey South Wing. This features a 12-sided plan with an open passageway in the lower level. Covered by a copper-clad roof, the structure is faced with limestone.

The north and south elevations feature fin walls that organize the horizontal grid of metal-framed window openings and limestone spandrels with beveled edges. The courthouse structure was among the last complexes in the province clad with local limestone. Amongst the landscaping, planter boxes, flagpoles and shallow pools with fountains, you would find limestone benches.

 But ... there is a hidden ancient mystery held in the construction of such 'temples' as those within secret societies were aware of, which is limestone is calcite that is formed by rainwater filtered through sand; a sedimentary stone and holds basic properties essential to life, namely the attribute of attracting atmospheric water vapour, condensing it into water, and then letting it pass out into streams and springs. 

Limestone works like a crystal; it is in constant motion emitting a vibrational frequency that amplifies the energy of the surrounding area and matches the electromagnetic field of the Earth and its human occupants. It also has the crystalline property to absorb, store, and transfer life-force energy. Limestone was used for construction because of these crystalline properties ... which are those of resonance, rhythm and vibration ... it is alive, holding the memory of information and like crystals, healing vibrations.

Hot-Walker, Life on the Fast Track  
Book Trailer for your viewing.

Racetrack History - Hot-Walker Life on the Fast Track

Horseracing at Greenwood and Woodbine, Toronto: Racetrack History

Hot~Walker begins its racetrack ventures in 1965 at Greenwood Racetrack, a horse racing facility in Toronto, inaugurated in 1874 as Woodbine Race Course located at the foot of Woodbine Avenue and Lake Ontario. The novel tells the story of the murder trial of Francine Harrison's fiance, an American draft dodger, John Mencini who trained thoroughbreds. 
Racing has had a long history in the Toronto area. In the early 1880s, Duggan founded the Ontario Jockey Club (OJC). Thoroughbred racing continued at Old Woodbine on a shortened six furlong (1,207 m) track and Harness races were conducted on the thoroughbred track, but serious problems with mud (including the starting gate being immobilized) led to the construction of a five-furlong (1006 m) stone dust harness track inside the thoroughbred track. This track was known for its tight turns and long back and homestretches.
In the early 1950s, the Ontario Jockey Club, led by directors E. P. Taylor, George C. Hendrie and J. E. Frowde Seagram, undertook an acquisition and consolidation program for southern Ontario racing. By 1956, the OJC operated a new facility for Thoroughbred horse races, which was constructed in Toronto suburbs, and given the name New Woodbine Racetrack. This was the location and setting for the racehorse, SnoMann, and his big win in 1969,

The Old Woodbine facility was completely renovated and renamed Greenwood Raceway in 1963. It held both harness racing and thoroughbred racing meets until its closure at the end of 1993. Steeplechase races were held at Woodbine/Greenwood for a few years. 
In 1994, the thoroughbred and harness operations were moved to Woodbine. The stadium was demolished and replaced by residential and commercial development, including a betting parlour. Half of the property became Woodbine Park. It is the only horseracing track in North America which stages, or is capable of staging,thoroughbred and standardbred horseracing programs on the same day. A bit of racetrack history.

Yorkville Village Toronto sets the scene 1960s.

Yorkville Village Toronto's counter-cultural mecca.

In the novel ... HOT-WALKER recalls the life and times of a young innocent woman, Frannie Harrison, who sets out to find her own life in the turbulent 1960s where anything goes. Ultimately, she ends up in an area of young people living in one of Toronto's oldest adjoining villages, YORKVILLE, founded in 1830 by entrepreneur Joseph Bloore. It began as a residential suburb. The village grew enough to be connected by an omnibus service in 1849 to Toronto.
 By 1853, the population of the village had reached 1,000. Development increased and by the 1870s more land was needed and Potter's Field, a cemetery stretching east of Yonge Street along the north side of Concession Road (today's Bloor Street) was closed, and the remains moved to the Necropolis and Mount Pleasant cemetery.
By the 1880s, the cost of delivering services to the large population of Yorkville was beyond the Village's ability. It petitioned the City of Toronto to be annexed. Annexation came on February 1, 1883, and Yorkville's name changed officially from "Village of Yorkville" to "St. Paul's Ward". The character of the suburb did not change and its Victorian-style homes, quiet residential streets, and picturesque gardens survived into the 20th century.
In 1923, the Toronto Hebrew Maternity and Convalescent Hospital was opened at 100 Yorkville Avenue and a year later the name was changed to Mount Sinai Hospital. The facade of this building still stands today.

Cheap rent in the Village.
And then ... some forty years later, Yorkville became known as  "a festering sore in the middle of the city" with a new generation of alternative lifestyles who changed the scene and the area became dominated with hippies and young people from all walks of life. 
HOT-WALKER takes place in the 1960s when Yorkville flourished as Toronto's counter-cultural mecca. The hip Village's development from its early coffee house days, when folksingers such as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell flocked to the scene, to its tumultuous, drug-fueled final months. Yorkville was also a battleground over identity, territory, and power. This neighbourhood soon came to be regarded as an alternative space both as a geographic area and as a symbol of hip Toronto in the cultural imagination, as then underground literary figures, such as Margaret Atwood, Gwendolyn MacEwen and Dennis Lee appeared regularly in the area. 
Yorkville was also known as the Canadian capital of the hippie movement and by the late 1960s folk music had given way to folk-rock and then psychedelic rock and Yorkville was bustling with electric as well as acoustic performances. In total, there were as many as 40 clubs and coffeehouses offering live entertainment every night of the week, and music lovers could hop from venue to venue to catch a seemingly endless number of acts. In 1968, nearby Rochdale College at the University of Toronto was opened on Bloor Street as an experiment in counter-culture education. Those influenced by their time in 1960s-70s Yorkville, include cyberpunk writer William Gibson. The Victorian homes became seedy, contaminated, uncared for and turned into a dangerous location.
Transition into high-end shopping district
It was after the construction of the Bloor-Danforth subway when the value of land nearby increased as higher densities were allowed by the City's official plan. Along Bloor Street, office towers, the Bay department store and the Holt Renfrew department store displaced the local retail. As real estate values increased, the residential homes north of Bloor along Yorkville were converted into high-end retail, including many art galleries, fashion boutiques and antique stores, and popular bars, cafes and eateries along Cumberland Street and Yorkville Avenue. Many smaller buildings were demolished and office and hotels built in the 1970s, with high priced condominium developments being built. Today, the remains of the Victorian homes that line the side streets are owned by the wealthy and most have been renovated beyond recognition as it is now classified as one of the 'most expensive' retail districts in North America.