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Monday, December 26, 2011

Chill Run in pictures.

Many of you may have already read Chill Run since it came out on December 1, 2011. I decided to do something a little different. Since Chill Run mostly takes place in Montreal and the surrounding areas, I thought I'd put together a collage of a few of the key locations around the city that influenced the story. Most of these pictures were taken on December 23 after we had our first set of snow that actually stayed, something that's unusual for this region  at this time of year (hey, I'm not complaining). I thought it best to wait until snow fell so that you can have an idea what weather conditions Eddie, Corey, and Jordyn had to contend with.

This is where the story begins - at a strip club. Montreal has several, although this one is one of the most visible. This is Club Super Sexe and it's located on St Catherine Street West opposite the Eaton Shopping Center. Eddie Barrow, Jr., goes there to find his roommate, Corey Stephenson, wasting his rent money on alcohol. Corey's girlfriend, Jordyn Rinaldi, works at the strip club as a barmaid. Of course in the actually story, the actual strip club is not named. 

Here we are on Côte-St-Luc road in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (NDG) borough. This is the location that inspired the fictitious Jamaican restaurant, Flick's, where Jordyn came up with the infamous S&M publicity stunt idea for Eddie that threw the story into motion. Actually there used to be a Jamaican restaurant in the location of where the pizza place is right now, at least two years ago.

We're now in the Point St Charles borough which is just south of downtown Montreal. As you see from the picture this is a very low income neighborhood, one where Eddie and Corey lived. I used to live in this area, not too far from where this picture was taken. I stayed in a small 2-bedroom flat for 3 months before someone threw a rock through my roommate's bedroom window and then smashed a window of my car two days later. I'm sure you'll understand why I moved. Although Corey and Eddie weren't victims of vandalism,  they had other problems to deal with.

Although I cut it from the final draft of the story, Eddie and Corey's place was described as a place that was similar to the triplex that is seen in the picture to the left. They both stayed on the second floor. I still fear those winding staircases, especially in the winter.

We are now on Sherbrooke Street West in the heart of downtown Montreal's Golden Square Mile. The building you see here is the famous Ritz-Carlton Hotel, which is one of the most prestigious hotels in Canada. In Chill Run, I renamed it l'Hôtel Mont-Royal (not to be confused with the Omni Mont Royal Hotel located down the street). I'm sure you can understand why Eddie got cold feet, considering that he obviously did not fit in.

I had the chance to meet one of the security personel of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel a few years back. Despite the fact that Queen Elizabeth II, Nelson Mandela, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and other celebrities stayed there, he had other stories to tell. I won't go into details, but let's say just that Eddie going to a 5-Star hotel in Montreal for an S&M session wasn't too far fetched. I had the opportunity to stay in that hotel for an entire weekend a few years back, and NO it wasn't for the reason the Eddie was there.

Here is a stretch of highway 20, just west of downtown Montreal. This is the approximate location where Eddie and Corey were pulled over by a Sûreté de Québec highway patrolman. Not something you'd want considering that you're fleeing a murder scene where you were named as the prime suspect.

We end this segment with a visual of 7th avenue in the borough of LaSalle. Locals often refer to this area as the Bronx. Eddie, Corey, and Jordyn took refuge on the second floor of one of these duplexes. This is actually my street, and I grew up not too far from this area. It's convenient for my mother who tends to over-shop whenever there's a sale at the grocery store and store the extras in my freezer when I'm not home.

Part 2 coming next week.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A big Thank You.

Winter in Montreal.
Hello, everyone

It's been a long and rough year but it was worth it. I've released two new books this year and the response has been great. I'd like to thank everyone, from my editors Victory Crayne and Lisa Martinez, to my production team of Signe Nichols and Carol Webb. My marketing associate, Jeff Rivera and  my adviser Jerry Simmons. To all the book bloggers/reviewers, family, friends, and especially to the fans that have supported me and who continue to support my work and spread the word. Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and all the best for 2012.

Best wishes,

Russell Brooks