Category: Author

#Review | THE GOLDEN GIRL by Dana Perry

Genre: Psychological Thriller
Published by Bookouture
Publication Date: June 8, 2020
ISBN-10: 1838882677
ISBN-13: 978-1838882679
Pages: 322
Review Copy From: Publisher
Edition: Print
My Rating: 5

Synopsis (via GR)

Maura was perfect.
A perfect liar.

One humid summer evening, Officer Maura Walsh is lead to her table at a local restaurant – it’s a trendy place with cocktails on the menu, full of office workers leaning across the bar to flirt. She’s prettier than most of the women here, but everybody gives her a wide berth. She doesn’t eat or drink anything. She doesn’t meet anyone’s eye.

An hour later, Maura is dead. Her silky red hair swirls in the dirty puddles beneath her body. The dank walls of a forgotten alley are the last thing she ever saw. It took a long time for Maura to die, alone in the dark.

Somebody made sure she would have plenty of time to think about what she’d done.

This totally twisty and absolutely gripping read will keep you turning the pages late into the night. Perfect for fans of Mary Burton, Karen Rose and Lisa Jackson.

My Thoughts

After reading the first book in this series, THE SILENT VICTIM, I knew that I would probably have to hold onto my hat because it was going to be another wild ride. Was it?

Jessie Tucker, a reporter at The Tribune, is covering the tragic story of NYPD officer, Maura Walsh, who was shot dead in the line of duty. She is the daughter of the Deputy NYPD Commissioner, aka The Prince of the City for stamping out police corruption.

Once Jessie starts her investigation, she learns that Maura Walsh wasn’t, The Golden Girl, as everybody thought she was because of her father and grandfather before that. Could it be that she really was taking payoffs from some seedy businesses, some owned by mob boss Domenic Bennato? Jessie also learns that there was also a tragic loss many years ago involving her little brother.

As Jessie delves into this story, more bodies are piling up. Maura’s partner Billy Renfro and PI Frank Walison, who had been hired by someone to get the dirt on Renfro. But who hired him?

And in the middle of tracking down leads and answers, she also learns some devastating personal news. The father that left her and her mother many, many years ago, was not her biological father.

Dana Perry has an uncanny ability to weave and interweave details in the story. When reading his books, it’s like trying to put an intricate jigsaw puzzle together with all the pieces being the same color because once it is all pulled together, your jaw will hit the floor.

A story that flows from the very first word to the final one. The suspense never lets up and the suspense so engrossing that the reader is pulled into the story. A book that is unputdownable and will have you shaking your head the minute you finish reading it.

I definitely had to hold onto my hat as if I was riding the biggest roller coaster ever!

I can’t wait for the next book in this series!!!

A daunting and chilling read that I highly recommend!!!!

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗


  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
  • I do not have any affiliation with or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
  • #Review | THE MENU by Steven Manchester

    The Menu by Steven Manchester
    Genre: Religious Literature & Fiction
    Published by Luna Bella Media, Incorporated
    Publication Date: June 2, 2020
    ISBN-10: 0984184252
    ISBN-13: 978-0984184255
    Pages: 318
    Review Copy From: Author
    Edition: eBook
    My Rating: 5+

    Synopsis (via GR

    Blessed with a high emotional IQ, Phinn Reed enters the world with the promise of finding his soul mate. With heaven’s memories erased, his romantic quest teaches him that the heart often sees clearer than the eyes—and that not everyone has ordered the same items from The Menu. Evidence that love stories come in many different forms, The Menu is a spiritual journey involving more than just a man and a woman; it is a modern-day tale that reaches far beyond the boundaries of reason.

    My Thoughts

    I apologize in advance because I know I’m going to fall short with my review because I won’t be able to find the right words for this powerful read.

    If you know me, you know that I am a HUGE fan of this author. I have said in the past, that he hits his books out of the park. But this book! THIS BOOK! He hit it to Heaven!!! I have also said that I consider his books to be classics, but THE MENU is so much more.

    I am not going to reiterate the synopsis but recap the story as a whole.

    We are all handed a menu before we enter the world. It is the choices we make that will dictate our lives, both good and bad. Even if we choose wrongly, it’s what we do with that choice. But there are 2 staples on that menu that we should all choose and that is love and kindness.

    I have never reread a book. However, I can honestly say, I will with THE MENU. I highlighted so many meaningful passages for when I need to be reminded when life may hit a trying time.

    Who should read this book? EVERYONE!!!! Those that are entering adulthood, those that are facing difficult moments, and those that need to be uplifted. This is the perfect book to give to family and friends that are facing tough times when words don’t seem adequate.

    THE MENU is an inspirational fictional story that will bring smiles to your face, tears to your eyes, and leave an imprint on your heart and soul that will last for your remaining days!!!!

    Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗


  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
  • I do not have any affiliation with or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
  • Dirty Old Town by Gabriel Valjan | #Review #Showcase #Giveaway

    Dirty Old Town by Gabriel Valjan Banner



    Dirty Old Town

    by Gabriel Valjan

    on Tour March 1 – April 30, 2020


    Dirty Old Town by Gabriel Valjan

    “Robert B. Parker would stand and cheer, and George V. Higgins would join the ovation. This is a terrific book–tough, smart, spare, and authentic. Gabriel Valjan is a true talent–impressive and skilled–providing knock-out prose, a fine-tuned sense of place and sleekly wry style.”– Hank Phillippi Ryan, nationally bestselling author of The Murder List

    Shane Cleary, a PI in a city where the cops want him dead, is tough, honest and broke. When he’s asked to look into a case of blackmail, the money is too good for him to refuse, even though the client is a snake and his wife is the woman who stomped on Shane’s heart years before. When a fellow vet and Boston cop with a secret asks Shane to find a missing person, the paying gig and the favor for a friend lead Shane to an arsonist, mobsters, a shady sports agent, and Boston’s deadliest hitman, the Barbarian. With both criminals and cops out to get him, the pressure is on for Shane to put all the pieces together before time runs out.


    4 stars

    This was the first book that I read by this author and thoroughly enjoyed his writing style.

    Shane Cleary, P.I. and ex Boston Police Detective is down on his luck and needing some cash, gets a call from an old friend that he hasn’t seen in 10 years, Brayton Braddock, and in need of his help due to someone is blackmailing him. There is some bad blood there since Brayton also won the girl that Cleary loved at one time. But money is money.

    The Boston Police would love to see Cleary go down since he went against the Brotherhood when he testified against another police officer. They are looking for him because he was on the scene when an FBI auditor was murdered.

    The story takes place in the ’70’s and the writing style made me reminiscent of an early era with gumshoed investigators. The descriptive delivery, not only captivated me but allowed me to create vivid imagery.

    Full of friendships, enemies, and the mafia of days past, the book was definitely character-driven with an atmospheric tale. The mystery kept the pages turning. I was pulled in and completely engrossed.

    I will be checking out other books but Mr. Valjan!!!!

    Book Details:

    Genre: Crime Fiction, Mystery, Procedural, Historical Fiction
    Published by: Level Best Books
    Publication Date: January 14th 2020
    Number of Pages: 162
    ISBN: 1087857325 (ISBN13: 9781087857329)
    Series: A Shane Cleary Mystery
    Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

    Read an excerpt:

    The phone rang. Not that I heard it at first, but Delilah, who was lying next to me, kicked me in the ribs. Good thing she did because a call, no matter what the hour, meant business, and my cat had a better sense of finances than I did. Rent was overdue on the apartment, and we were living out of my office in downtown Boston to avoid my landlord in the South End. The phone trilled.

    Again, and again, it rang.

    I staggered through the darkness to the desk and picked up the receiver. Out of spite I didn’t say a word. I’d let the caller who’d ruined my sleep start the conversation.

    “Mr. Shane Cleary?” a gruff voice asked.


    The obnoxious noise in my ear indicated the phone had been handed to someone else. The crusty voice was playing operator for the real boss.

    “Shane, old pal. It’s BB.”

    Dread as ancient as the schoolyard blues spread through me. Those familiar initials also made me think of monogrammed towels and cufflinks. I checked the clock.

    “Brayton Braddock. Remember me?”

    “It’s two in the morning, Bray. What do you want?”

    Calling him Bray was intended as a jab, to remind him his name was one syllable away from the sound of a jackass. BB was what he’d called himself when we were kids, because he thought it was cool. It wasn’t. He thought it made him one of the guys. It didn’t, but that didn’t stop him. Money creates delusions. Old money guarantees them.

    “I need your help.”

    “At this hour?”

    “Don’t be like that.”

    “What’s this about, Bray?”

    Delilah meowed at my feet and did figure eights around my legs. My gal was telling me I was dealing with a snake, and she preferred I didn’t take the assignment, no matter how much it paid us. But how could I not listen to Brayton Braddock III? I needed the money. Delilah and I were both on a first-name basis with Charlie the Tuna, given the number of cans of Starkist around the office. Anyone who told you poverty was noble is a damn fool.

    “I’d rather talk about this in person, Shane.”

    I fumbled for pen and paper.

    “When and where?”

    “Beacon Hill. My driver is on his way.”


    I heard the click. I could’ve walked from my office to the Hill. I turned on the desk light and answered the worried eyes and mew. “Looks like we both might have some high-end kibble in our future, Dee.”

    She understood what I’d said. Her body bumped the side of my leg. She issued plaintive yelps of disapproval. The one opinion I wanted, from the female I trusted most, and she couldn’t speak human.

    I scraped my face smooth with a tired razor and threw on a clean dress shirt, blue, and slacks, dark and pressed. I might be poor, but my mother and then the military had taught me dignity and decency at all times. I dressed conservatively, never hip or loud. Another thing the Army taught me was not to stand out. Be the gray man in any group. It wasn’t like Braddock and his milieu understood contemporary fashion, widespread collars, leisure suits, or platform shoes.

    I choose not to wear a tie, just to offend his Brahmin sensibilities. Beacon Hill was where the Elites, the Movers and Shakers in Boston lived, as far back to the days of John Winthrop. At this hour, I expected Braddock in nothing less than bespoke Parisian couture. I gave thought as to whether I should carry or not. I had enemies, and a .38 snub-nose under my left armpit was both insurance and deodorant.

    Not knowing how long I’d be gone, I fortified Delilah with the canned stuff. She kept time better than any of the Bruins referees and there was always a present outside the penalty box when I ran overtime with her meals. I meted out extra portions of tuna and the last of the dry food for her.

    I checked the window. A sleek Continental slid into place across the street. I admired the chauffeur’s skill at mooring the leviathan. He flashed the headlights to announce his arrival. Impressed that he knew that I knew he was there, I said goodbye, locked and deadbolted the door for the walk down to Washington Street and the car.

    Outside the air, severe and cold as the city’s forefathers, slapped my cheeks numb. Stupid me had forgotten gloves. My fingers were almost blue. Good thing the car was yards away, idling, the exhaust rising behind it. I cupped my hands and blew hot air into them and crossed the street. I wouldn’t dignify poor planning on my part with a sprint.

    Minimal traffic. Not a word from him or me during the ride. Boston goes to sleep at 12:30 a.m. Public transit does its last call at that hour. Checkered hacks scavenge the streets for fares in the small hours before sunrise. The other side of the city comes alive then, before the rest of the town awakes, before whatever time Mr. Coffee hits the filter and grounds. While men and women who slept until an alarm clock sprung them forward into another day, another repeat of their daily routine, the sitcom of their lives, all for the hallelujah of a paycheck, another set of people moved, with their ties yanked down, shirts and skirts unbuttoned, and tails pulled up and out. The night life, the good life was on. The distinguished set in search of young flesh migrated to the Chess Room on the corner of Tremont and Boylston Streets, and a certain crowd shifted down to the Playland on Essex, where drag queens, truck drivers, and curious college boys mixed more than drinks.

    The car was warmer than my office and the radio dialed to stultifying mood music. Light from one of the streetlamps revealed a business card on the seat next to me. I reviewed it: Braddock’s card, the usual details on the front, a phone number in ink. A man’s handwriting on the back when I turned it over. I pocketed it.

    All I saw in front of me from my angle in the backseat was a five-cornered hat, not unlike a policeman’s cover, and a pair of black gloves on the wheel. On the occasion of a turn, I was given a profile. No matinee idol there and yet his face looked as familiar as the character actor whose name escapes you. I’d say he was mid-thirties, about my height, which is a liar’s hair under six-foot, and the spread of his shoulders hinted at a hundred-eighty pounds, which made me feel self-conscious and underfed because I’m a hundred-sixty in shoes.

    He eased the car to a halt, pushed a button, and the bolt on my door shot upright. Job or no job, I never believed any man was another man’s servant. I thanked him and I watched the head nod.

    Outside on the pavement, the cold air knifed my lungs. A light turned on. The glow invited me to consider the flight of stairs with no railing. Even in their architecture, Boston’s aristocracy reminded everyone that any form of ascent needed assistance.

    A woman took my winter coat, and a butler said hello. I recognized his voice from the phone. He led and I followed. Wide shoulders and height were apparently in vogue because Braddock had chosen the best from the catalog for driver and butler. I knew the etiquette that came with class distinction. I would not be announced, but merely allowed to slip in.

    Logs in the fireplace crackled. Orange and red hues flickered against all the walls. Cozy and intimate for him, a room in hell for me. Braddock waited there, in his armchair, Hefner smoking jacket on. I hadn’t seen the man in almost ten years, but I’ll give credit where it’s due. His parents had done their bit after my mother’s death before foster care swallowed me up. Not so much as a birthday or Christmas card from them or their son since then, and now their prince was calling on me.

    Not yet thirty, Braddock manifested a decadence that came with wealth. A pronounced belly, round as a teapot, and when he stood up, I confronted an anemic face, thin lips, and a receding hairline. Middle-age, around the corner for him, suggested a bad toupee and a nubile mistress, if he didn’t have one already. He approached me and did a boxer’s bob and weave. I sparred when I was younger. The things people remembered about you always surprised me. Stuck in the past, and yet Braddock had enough presence of mind to know my occupation and drop the proverbial dime to call me.

    “Still got that devastating left hook?” he asked.

    “I might.”

    “I appreciate your coming on short notice.” He indicated a chair, but I declined. “I have a situation,” he said. He pointed to a decanter of brandy. “Like some…Henri IV Heritage, aged in oak for a century.”

    He headed for the small bar to pour me some of his precious Heritage. His drink sat on a small table next to his chair. The decanter waited for him on a liquor caddy with a glass counter and a rotary phone. I reacquainted myself with the room and décor.

    I had forgotten how high the ceilings were in these brownstones. The only warm thing in the room was the fire. The heating bill here alone would’ve surpassed the mortgage payment my parents used to pay on our place. The marble, white as it was, was sepulchral. Two nude caryatids for the columns in the fireplace had their eyes closed. The Axminster carpet underfoot, likely an heirloom from one of Cromwell’s cohorts in the family tree, displayed a graphic hunting scene.

    I took one look at the decanter, saw all the studded diamonds, and knew Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton would have done the set number of paces with a pair of hand-wrought dueling pistols to own it. Bray handed me a snifter of brandy and resumed his place in his chair. I placed my drink on the mantel. “Tell me more about this situation you have.”

    “Quite simple, really. Someone in my company is blackmailing me.”

    “And which company is that?”

    “Immaterial at the moment. Please do take a seat.”

    I declined his attempt at schmooze. This wasn’t social. This was business.

    “If you know who it is,” I said, “and you want something done about it, I’d recommend the chauffeur without reservation, or is it that you’re not a hundred percent sure?”

    I approached Bray and leaned down to talk right into his face. I did it out of spite. One of the lessons I’d learned is that the wealthy are an eccentric and paranoid crowd. Intimacy and germs rank high on their list of phobias.

    “I’m confident I’ve got the right man.” Brayton swallowed some of his expensive liquor.

    “Then go to the police and set up a sting.”

    “I’d like to have you handle the matter for me.”

    “I’m not muscle, Brayton. Let’s be clear about that. You mean to say a man of your position doesn’t have any friends on the force to do your dirty work?”

    “Like you have any friends there?”

    I threw a hand onto each of the armrests and stared into his eyes. Any talk about the case that bounced me off the police force and into the poorhouse soured my disposition. I wanted the worm to squirm.

    “Watch it, Bray. Old bones ought to stay buried. I can walk right out that door.”

    “That was uncalled for, and I’m sorry,” he said. “This is a clean job.”

    Unexpected. The man apologized for the foul. I had thought the word “apology” had been crossed out in his family dictionary. I backed off and let him breathe and savor his brandy.

    I needed the job. The money. I didn’t trust Bray as a kid, nor the man the society pages said saved New England with his business deals and largesse.

    “Let’s talk about this blackmail then,” I said. “Think one of your employees isn’t happy with their Christmas bonus?”

    He bolted upright from his armchair. “I treat my people well.”

    Sensitive, I thought and went to say something else, when I heard a sound behind me, and then I smelled her perfume. Jasmine, chased with the sweet burn of bourbon. I closed my eyes, and when I opened them I saw his smug face.

    “You remember Cat, don’t you?”

    “How could I not?” I said and kissed the back of the hand offered to me. Cat always took matters one step forward. She kissed me on the cheek, close enough that I could feel her against me. She withdrew and her scent stuck to me. Cat was the kind of woman who did all the teaching and you were grateful for the lessons. Here we were, all these years later, the three of us in one room, in the middle of the night.

    “Still enjoy those film noir movies?” she asked.

    “Every chance I get.”

    “I’m glad you came at my husband’s request.”

    The word husband hurt. I had read about their marriage in the paper.

    “I think you should leave, dear, and let the men talk,” her beloved said.

    His choice of words amused me as much as it did her, from the look she gave me. I never would have called her “dear” in public or close quarters. You don’t dismiss her, either.

    “Oh please,” she told her husband. “My sensibility isn’t that delicate and it’s not like I haven’t heard business discussed. Shane understands confidentiality and discretion. You also forget a wife can’t be forced to testify against her husband. Is this yours, Shane?” she asked about the snifter on the brandy on the mantel. I nodded. “I’ll keep it warm for you.”

    She leaned against the mantel for warmth. She nosed the brandy and closed her eyes. When they opened, her lips parted in a sly smile, knowing her power. Firelight illuminated the length of her legs and my eyes traveled. Braddock noticed and he screwed himself into his chair and gave her a venomous look.

    “Why the look, darling?” she said. “You know Shane and I have history.”

    Understatement. She raised the glass. Her lips touched the rim and she took the slightest sip. Our eyes met again and I wanted a cigarette, but I’d quit the habit. I relished the sight until Braddock broke the spell. He said, “I’m being blackmailed over a pending business deal.”

    “Blackmail implies dirty laundry you don’t want aired,” I said. “What kind of deal?”

    “Nothing I thought was that important,” he said.

    “Somebody thinks otherwise.”

    “This acquisition does have certain aspects that, if exposed, would shift public opinion, even though it’s completely aboveboard.” Braddock sipped and stared at me while that expensive juice went down his throat.

    “All legit, huh,” I said. “Again, what kind of acquisition?”

    “Real estate.”

    “The kind of deal where folks in this town receive an eviction notice?”

    He didn’t answer that. As a kid, I’d heard how folks in the West End were tossed out and the Bullfinch Triangle was razed to create Government Center, a modern and brutal Stonehenge, complete with tiered slabs of concrete and glass. Scollay Square disappeared overnight. Gone were the restaurants and the watering holes, the theaters where the Booth brothers performed, and burlesque and vaudeville coexisted. Given short notice, a nominal sum that was more symbolic than anything else, thousands of working-class families had to move or face the police who were as pleasant and diplomatic as the cops at the Chicago Democratic National Convention.

    I didn’t say I’d accept the job. I wanted Braddock to simmer and knew how to spike his temperature. I reclaimed my glass from Cat. She enjoyed that. “Pardon me,” I said to her. “Not shy about sharing a glass, I hope.”

    “Not at all.”

    I let Bray Braddock cook. If he could afford to drink centennial grape juice then he could sustain my contempt. I gulped his cognac to show what a plebe I was, and handed the glass back to Cat with a wink. She walked to the bar and poured herself another splash, while I questioned my future employer. “Has this blackmailer made any demands? Asked for a sum?”

    “None,” Braddock answered.

    “But he knows details about your acquisition?” I asked.

    “He relayed a communication.”

    Braddock yelled out to his butler, who appeared faster than recruits I’d known in Basic Training. The man streamed into the room, gave Braddock two envelopes, and exited with an impressive gait. Braddock handed me one of the envelopes.

    I opened it. I fished out a thick wad of paperwork. Photostats. Looking them over, I saw names and figures and dates. Accounting.

    “Xeroxes,” Braddock said. “They arrived in the mail.”

    “Copies? What, carbon copies aren’t good enough for you?”

    “We’re beyond the days of the hand-cranked mimeograph machine, Shane. My partners and I have spared no expense to implement the latest technology in our offices.”

    I examined pages. “Explain to me in layman’s terms what I’m looking at, the abridged version, or I’ll be drinking more of your brandy.”

    The magisterial hand pointed to the decanter. “Help yourself.”

    “No thanks.”

    “Those copies are from a ledger for the proposed deal. Keep them. Knowledgeable eyes can connect names there to certain companies, to certain men, which in turn lead to friends in high places, and I think you can infer the rest. Nothing illegal, mind you, but you know how things get, if they find their way into the papers. Yellow journalism has never died out.”

    I pocketed the copies. “It didn’t die out, on account of your people using it to underwrite the Spanish-American War. If what you have here is fair-and-square business, then your problem is public relations—a black eye the barbershops on Madison Ave can pretty up in the morning. I don’t do PR, Mr. Braddock. What is it you think I can do for you?”

    “Ascertain the identity of the blackmailer.”

    “Then you aren’t certain of…never mind. And what do I do when I ascertain that identity?”

    “Nothing. I’ll do the rest.”

    “Coming from you, that worries me, seeing how your people have treated the peasants, historically speaking.”

    Brayton didn’t say a word to that.

    “And that other envelope in your lap?” I asked.

    The balding halo on the top of his head revealed itself when he looked down at the envelope. Those sickly lips parted when he faced me. I knew I would hate the answer. Cat stood behind him. She glanced at me then at the figure of a dog chasing a rabbit on the carpet.

    “Envelope contains the name of a lead, an address, and a generous advance. Cash.”

    Brayton tossed it my way. The envelope, fat as a fish, hit me. I caught it.


    Excerpt from Dirty Old Town by Gabriel Valjan. Copyright 2020 by Gabriel Valjan. Reproduced with permission from Gabriel Valjan. All rights reserved.



    Author Bio:

    Gabriel Valjan

    Gabriel is the author of two series, Roma and Company Files, with Winter Goose Publishing. Dirty Old Town is the first in the Shane Cleary series for Level Best Books. His short stories have appeared online, in journals, and in several anthologies. He has been a finalist for the Fish Prize, shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, and received an Honorable Mention for the Nero Wolfe Black Orchid Novella Contest in 2018. You can find him on Twitter (@GValjan) and Instagram (gabrielvaljan). He lurks the hallways at crime fiction conferences, such as Bouchercon, Malice Domestic, and New England Crime Bake. Gabriel is a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime.

    Catch Up With Gabriel Valjan On:, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!



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    No Stone Unturned by Andrea Kane | #Review #Showcase #Giveaway

    No Stone Unturned by Andrea Kane Banner



    No Stone Unturned

    by Andrea Kane

    on Tour March 16 – April 17, 2020


    No Stone Unturned by Andrea Kane


    Jewelry designer Fiona McKay is working on her latest collection of Celtic-inspired jewelry. She’s excited by the possibilities uncovered by Rose Flaherty, the antiquities dealer helping her research the heirloom tapestries inspiring her new collection. So when Rose calls to tell her she has answers, Fiona hurries to meet her. But her artistic world is shattered when she finds the lifeless body of the elderly woman.

    Why would anyone kill such a harmless person? And what if Fiona had arrived just a few minutes earlier? Would she have been killed as well? Unnerved, she heads for her brother’s Brooklyn apartment seeking advice and comfort.

    Ryan McKay, Forensic Instincts’ technology wiz is not amused by his little sister interrupting his evening with his girlfriend and co-worker, Claire Hedgleigh. But when Ryan and Claire hear the details of Rose’s murder, they fear that Fiona could be next, and quickly assume the role of her protectors. What they’re unaware of is how many people are desperately seeking the information now buried along with Rose.

    A former IRA sniper. A traitorous killer who worked for the British. Two vicious adversaries taking their epic battle to America. A secret Irish hoard as the grand prize in a winner takes all fight to the death.

    As the story woven into the tapestries passed down from McKay mother to daughter unravels, Forensic Instincts realizes that Fiona and her family are in grave danger. Together, the team must stay one step ahead of two rival assassins or risk Fiona’s life and the McKay family tree.


    5 stars

    If you are an avid reader, like I am, then I’m sure you have an “authors to read” list that you wait patiently for their next book to get your hands on. And even better, if it’s an ARC!!! For me, one of those authors is Andrea Kane!!! So receiving a signed ARC from the author was both exciting and honored!!!!! Now that I have finished reading it, this book will be placed in a special bookcase where I proudly store my signed editions. Family and friends know not to touch these books nor even breathe near them!!!!

    The Forensic Instinct team, a highly sophisticated PI firm, is back and this time the case involves one of the member’s sister, Fiona McKay. As the synopsis states, Fiona is a jewelry designer and creates her pieces on Celtic art via tapestries that her family has inherited ​that were ​passed down from generations past.

    Rose Flaherty, an elderly antique dealer/expert is working with Fiona to aide her with the research. Until that night Fiona and Rose were meeting because Rose had important and exciting news to share. Upon entering the shop, Fiona found Rose dead and it is being ruled a homicide. And within days, Fiona’s apartment was broken into and was ransacked. Nothing was taken so what were they looking for? Will Fiona be the next victim? The Forensic Instinct team will not let that happen so they are on the case but they soon find out that there are some unsavory men that could be the killer but also want the hoard that is hidden in those tapestries.

    Why do I love Ms. Kane’s books, you ask. For many reasons!!!

    The story and suspense flow and is gripping and consuming from the very first word to the last. I find myself submerged and caught up in the narrative. The characters are well developed and realistic. The action was electrifying. The writing is descriptive, so much so, that I could create vivid images in my mind as if I was watching a movie. And the in-depth research is phenomenal whereas I became more informed about things I didn’t know much about, like Celtic tapestries, Celtic art, the IRA and much more.

    A page turner that was hard to put down!!!! And the reason she is on my “authors to read” list because it was another book by her that I devoured!!!

    Bonus: Check out Fiona McKay’s
    Designs HERE


    After reading this book, I was intrigued by the Celtic jewelry. So when Fiona McKay / Andrea Kane, launched the jewelry site, I had to have a piece of jewelry. I chose the Tree Of Life necklace which symbolizes strength, family, and resilience. I just received it and the picture does not do it justice. It is gorgeous!!!

    Book Details:

    Genre: Suspense Thriller
    Published by: Bonnie Meadow Publishing LLC
    Publication Date:
    Number of Pages: March 17, 2020
    ISBN: 978-1-68232-039-
    Series: Forensic Instincts
    Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

    Read an excerpt:

    Slowly, Rose Flaherty made her way over to the front window of her Greenwich Village antique shop, leaning heavily on her cane as she did. Preoccupied with the ramifications of her research findings, she barely took note of the passersby on Bedford Street, most of them headed home for the evening. A few of them glanced in her window, their unpracticed eyes seeing none of the beauty attached to the treasure trove of antiques and antiquities, instead seeing only the dusty surfaces, the random pieces, and odd assortment of furnishings that bespoke unwanted junk from the past.

    At seventy-nine years old, Rose had long ago stopped caring what people thought. She knew who and what she was. And she knew it was no accident that her established clientele, many of whom were wealthy and educated in the realm of ancient civilizations—including Egyptian, Etruscan, Roman, Byzantine, Greek, and her beloved Celtic—came to her for her expertise as well as her one-of-a-kind offerings. Her knowledge was vast, her list of contacts vaster still.

    The levels of research she performed were always a labor of love. However, her current project was even more than that. It was a thrilling adventure, a fascination of possibilities that transcended anything she’d dealt with in the past.

    She couldn’t wait to delve deeper.

    Impatiently, she squinted at her watch, barely able to make out the hands without the aid of her glasses, which she’d left somewhere. Ah. Five fifteen. Forty-five minutes to go.

    Given the magnitude of her findings, there was just one way to pass the time.

    She limped her way over to her Chippendale desk, sliding open the bottom drawer and pulling out the bottle of rare, old Irish whiskey she kept on hand for special clients. It was sinfully expensive. How fortunate that one of her prominent clients, Niall Dempsey, was a wealthy real estate developer who also appreciated fine Irish whiskey and who had been kind enough to gift this to her.

    She poured the whiskey into a glass, making sure to put out a second for her client. They certainly had something to toast to. She would just get a wee bit of a head start.

    “Rose?” Glenna Robinson, Rose’s assistant, poked her head out of the back room. Glenna was studying archeology at NYU and thoroughly enjoyed her part-time job at the shop. The fragile, white-haired owner was an intellectual wonder. Learning from her was an honor—even if she was becoming a bit more absentminded as she neared eighty. Absentminded about everything except her work. In that precious realm, her mind was like a steel trap.

    “Hmmm?” Rose lifted her lips from her glass and turned, initially surprised to see Glenna was still here. Ah, but it wasn’t yet five thirty, and Glenna never left before checking in, so she should have expected to see her shiny young face. Such was the level of Rose’s absorption with the task at hand. “Yes, dear?”

    Glenna’s gaze flickered from the glass in Rose’s hand to its mate, sitting neatly beside the whiskey bottle on the desk. “Do you need me to stay late? You mentioned an evening appointment, obviously an important one… even if it’s not in the calendar.”

    “It was last minute.” Rose smiled, giving a gentle wave of her hand. “There’s no need for you to stay. This is a meeting, not a transaction. If you’d just collect the mail and drop it off, you can go and enjoy your evening.”

    Glenna smiled back, trying not to look as relieved as she felt. Her friends had invited her to join them for pizza and beer. After a long week, that was exactly what she needed. But she wouldn’t leave Rose in the lurch.

    “Are you sure?” she asked.

    “Positive. Now run along.”

    “Thank you. See you tomorrow afternoon.” Glenna blew Rose a kiss, then retraced her steps into the small back room—the business office, as she and Rose laughingly called it. It was barely larger than a closet, but it served its purpose. Glenna used it to answer phone calls, schedule appointments, email invoices, do reams of paperwork, and keep track of the countless Post-its Rose stuck on every inch of available surface space. She called it Glenna’s to-do list, but Glenna was well aware that the reminders were really for Rose, not for her. All part of Rose’s charm. The Post-it-spotted room contained a jam-packed file cabinet, a rusty metal desk, an on-its- last-legs photocopier, and a computer that Glenna had nicknamed Methuselah because it was older than time. Still, it was enough for their needs and Rose didn’t know how to use it anyway. That was part of Glenna’s job. She’d been doing it since she was sixteen, and she had no desire to go elsewhere.

    She scooped up the stack of mail and was about to leave when she spotted a manila envelope propped up against the outbox with the name of the addressee penned on it in Rose’s neat hand. No street address. No postage.

    Typical forgetful Rose.

    Recognizing the client’s name, Glenna quickly scanned their contacts list, found the requisite address, printed it on a label that she adhered to the envelope, and carefully marked the parcel: hand cancel. She’d take care of the postage at the post office. Jimmy would move the process along. He was an efficient postal worker with a wild crush on her. She’d be in and out in a flash.

    After tucking the envelope beneath the rest of the mail, she shut down Methuselah for the night, then grabbed her lightweight jacket and left the shop.

    The tinkling sound of the bells over the door echoed behind her.

    Twenty minutes later, they tinkled again.

    Rose had been sitting in a chair midway in the shop, her back turned to the entrance as she sipped her whiskey and stared idly at the marble fireplace that stayed lit year-round to ward off dampness and mildew. Hearing the bells, she reached for her cane and came to her feet, surprised but delighted. Her client was early.

    She turned, a greeting freezing on her lips.

    It wasn’t a client who had come for her.


    Excerpt from No Stone Unturned by Andrea Kane. Copyright 2019 by Andrea Kane. Reproduced with permission from Andrea Kane. All rights reserved.



    Author Bio:

    Andrea Kane

    Andrea Kane is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty novels, including sixteen psychological thrillers and fourteen historical romantic suspense titles. With her signature style, Kane creates unforgettable characters and confronts them with life-threatening danger. As a master of suspense, she weaves them into exciting, carefully-researched stories, pushing them to the edge―and keeping her readers up all night.

    Kane’s first contemporary suspense thriller, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, became an instant New York Times bestseller. She followed with a string of bestselling psychological thrillers including NO WAY OUT, TWISTED and DRAWN IN BLOOD.

    Her latest in the highly successful Forensic Instincts series, NO STONE UNTURNED, showcases the dynamic, eclectic team of maverick investigators as they solve a seemingly impossible case while narrowly avoiding an enraged law enforcement frustrated over Forensic Instincts’ secretive and successful interference in a murder case. The first showcase of Forensic Instincts’ talents came with the New York Times bestseller, THE GIRL WHO DISAPPEARED TWICE, followed by THE LINE BETWEEN HERE AND GONE, THE STRANGER YOU KNOW, THE SILENCE THAT SPEAKS, THE MURDER THAT NEVER WAS, A FACE TO DIE FOR, and DEAD IN A WEEK.

    Kane’s beloved historical romantic suspense novels include MY HEART’S DESIRE, SAMANTHA, ECHOES IN THE MIST, and WISHES IN THE WIND.

    With a worldwide following of passionate readers, her books have been published in more than twenty languages. Kane lives in New Jersey with her husband and family. She’s an avid crossword puzzle solver and a diehard Yankees fan.

    Catch Up With Andrea Kane:, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!



    Tour Participants:

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    Enter The Giveaway!!:

    This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Andrea Kane. There will be 6 winners for this tour. One winner will receive (1) Gift Card and 5 winners will receive No Stone Unturned by Andrea Kane (eBook). The giveaway begins on March 16, 2020 and runs through April 19, 2020. Void where prohibited.

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    • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
    • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
    • I do not have any affiliation with or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

    The Silent Victim by Dana Perry #Review

    The Silent Victim by Dana Perry
    Genre: Crime Thriller, Mystery
    Published by Bookouture
    Publication Date: November 18, 2019
    ISBN-10: 1838880941
    ISBN-13: 978-1838880941
    Pages: 346
    Review Copy From: Publisher/Author
    Edition: TPB
    My Rating: 5

    Synopsis (via GR)

    The woman’s golden hair is spread out beneath her on the bed of leaves where she’s fallen, her beautiful blue eyes open wide. The police are calling it a random attack, but Jessie Tucker isn’t so sure – she’s seen this crime scene before… she was the victim.

    Twelve years ago, Jessie Tucker was attacked as she made her way home from an outdoor concert. She still walks with a limp from that night, and every day since has been a struggle to rebuild her life. The police told her she was unlucky – that she was safe after they charged a local man for the crime. But Jessie has never managed to shake the feeling that there was someone else in the park that night… someone she knew.

    But then Margaret Kincaid’s murder file lands across her desk, and Jessie knows she can’t keep silent any longer. Margaret’s wounds so exactly match her own it’s spooky – but Jessie’s attacker is in prison, and Jessie has never met the victim. What links her to Margaret Kincaid, and why did the attacker let one woman live, and the other die?

    Nail-biting, gripping and absolutely unputdownable! Perfect for fans of Lisa Regan, Kendra Elliot and Gregg Olsen.

    My Thoughts

    After her near death beating in Central Park, Jessie Tucker changes the course of her career and becomes a badass crime journalist investigating the facts from the POV of victims. Who knows better than her.

    When Margaret Kincaid is found dead in the same area as Jessie’s attack, she not only is on the case, but it starts to trigger memories of her own from 12 years ago.

    Just like her case, the police have found their suspects and the cases are closed. But once Jessie starts digging further through the police reports, of both Margaret’s and her own assaults, she realizes that maybe the wrong person was found guilty, both now and then.

    I read the majority of this book in one day because I could NOT put it down. There are many intricate details in this book, which made this book electrifying and had me wondering what the author’s mindset was while writing this book…..BRILLIANT!!!!

    The action and suspense accelerate with each turn of the page!! GRIPPING!!! The narrative pulled me in, and with the author’s amazing writing style, I was so engrossed and it felt like I was watching a movie in my head! Totally absorbing!! An adrenaline rush throughout! The ending and how the author pulled it all together outstanding!!!

    Do not miss out on this outstanding read!!! And even better news, this is the first book in what will become a series, which I will be the first in line to get my hands on the sequel!!!!

    Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗


  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
  • I do not have any affiliation with or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
  • #Review | Knit 2, Purl 2, Kill 2 by Erina Bridget Ring

    Knit 2, Purl 2, Kill 2 by Erina Bridget Ring
    Genre: Eldercare, Memoir
    Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
    Publication Date: June 25, 2014
    ISBN-10: 1497374138
    ISBN-13: 978-1497374133
    Pages: 188
    Review Copy From: Author
    Edition: Signed TPB
    My Rating: 4

    Synopsis (via GR)

    Memoir: A caretaker’s survival tale. When her mother’s health begins to fail, Erina Bridget Ring searches for something to do during the hours she spends at her mother’s bedside. What she discovers is knitting–and a group of women knitters. But as she learns to knit and at the same time cares for her ailing mother, she finds that things at the knitting group are not what they seem to be.

    My Thoughts

    This is the third book that I have read by this author. I previously read The Neighborhood and Breakfast With The FBI and not only enjoyed her writing style, but also that her books are based on real-life incidents of her’s.

    Jeanne Ryan, 89 years old, mother to 7 children including the baby of the family, Ms. Ring and due to location became the caretaker of her mother. It chronicles the life of her life while in this role, and how she found knitting as a pastime during this difficult time in her life. It is also a raw look into what can happen to a family facing the inevitable end result.

    This book hit a nerve with me and triggered the time when I was in the same role as the author. And since I had been, I could feel all of the emotions that the author talks about, worry, both mental and physical exhaustion, frustration, love, anger, guilt, and fear, and even how one has to hold on to humor to name a few.

    I also connected, and it was somewhat ironic, that she had her faith to draw from and a Priest who she leaned on. In my case, the last week of my Mom’s life, I was able to draw strength from a cousin who is a priest and stayed by both my Mom and my’s side.

    There were so many parallels with the author’s recount of that time and mine, that I read this book in one sitting. The only differences were that I crochet and not knit, she has many siblings and I only have one, however, since I’m her POA, it was only me making decisions and having to break down my Mom’s house. But even with those differences, I related to this entire book.

    A poignant explanation of what it is like to be in the role of caretaker. A story that was moving and impactful!!!

    Ms. Ring opens her heart and soul in this book and I highly recommend if you are presently a caretaker or foresee it in your future because you will understand that you aren’t alone with your emotions.

    Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗


  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
  • I do not have any affiliation with or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
  • Review | BREAKFAST WITH THE FBI by Erina Bridget Ring

    BREAKFAST WITH THE FBI by Erina Bridget Ring
    Genre: White Collar Crime/True Account
    Published by CreateSpace
    Publication Date: May 1, 2015
    ISBN-10: 1511558385
    ISBN-13: 978-1511558389
    Pages: 114
    Review Copy From: Personal purchase
    Edition: TPB
    My Rating: 4

    Synopsis (via GR)

    When bank teller Rose Ryan accidentally uncovers a shocking discrepancy in bank finances, she goes to the police, who immediately call in the FBI. From that day forward, she meets at a coffee shop each morning with two FBI agents to report her observed embezzling activity and receive further instructions. Rose continues to collect evidence of the illegal activity at the bank, right under the noses of the criminals, but for her own safety and that of her family, she is warned to “tell no one, not even your husband.” Until now . . .

    My Thoughts

    I recently read Ms. Ring’s latest book, THE NEIGHBORHOOD, and thoroughly enjoyed it. After connecting on Facebook, she told me about her previous books and a little bit about them. With that, she sent me a signed copy of KNIT 2, PURL 2, KILL 2, which I have yet to read and I purchased BREAKFAST WITH THE FBI because I was intrigued due to what she told me about how this book came to be via a real-life experience.

    Rose Ryan embodies what an all-around good person should be. Her family came first, believed in honesty, knew the difference between right and wrong and was active in her community. After being a stay at home Mom until her 2 children were in High School, she went back to work as a bank teller. She loved her job and was held in high esteem by those that went to the bank. Her work ethics was extraordinary and didn’t go unnoticed when she received a promotion and was transferred to another branch.

    The first day there, while closing up, she noticed an exorbitant amount of money was missing. She went straight to the President of the bank to inform him of the error. She had done right, at least she thought she did until she overheard the president on the phone telling someone that “Rose was on to them”.

    Driving home she knew she could not let this matter go. After much thought, she pulled into the Police Parking Lot and gave a statement. Thinking that an investigation would ensue, she felt that she had done her job. However, due to the amount of money, the police told her that the FBI would need to be brought into it. And from there, her life turned upside down.

    She was now an informant for the FBI. She wasn’t allowed to tell her husband, children, no one!!! She was followed, as were her family. Things got worse when she realized that the new Branch Manager carried a gun and was part of the embezzlement circle of employees.

    I could feel Rose’s tension, worry and anxiety, not only while she was at work but having to lie to her family to keep them safe. And throughout the read, I kept asking myself what would I have done. The storyline was fluid. There are some surprises as to the outcome of this story and the when and how Rose finally told her story.

    This story did resonate with and trigger my own memories of a somewhat similar experience that occurred with my family when I was young and my parents were approached to help the state troopers to be part of a sting. It lasted for 8+ months where we were followed and not allowed to say anything to anyone!

    Another great read Ms. Ring!!!!!!

    Watch the trailer

    Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗


  • This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
  • I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review. No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
  • I do not have any affiliation with or Barnes & Noble. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.
  • THE NEIGHBORHOOD by Erina Bridget Ring (Review & Interview)

    The Neighborhood by Erina Bridget Ring
    Genre: Humerous Fiction
    Published by Erina Bridget Ring
    Publication Date: June 26, 2018
    ISBN-10: 0692141847
    ISBN-13: 978-0692141847
    Pages: 260
    Review Copy From: Author
    Edition: Signed TPB
    My Rating: 5

    Synopsis (via GR

    Gretchen O’Malley thinks her new neighborhood is nice and quiet, as ordinary as any other neighborhood. But this soon changes. Every day a new dilemma arises, pulling her into the chaos, and as she gets to know her neighbors she discovers comedy, cruelty, and even tragedy.

    Do you know what’s going on in your neighborhood?

    My Thoughts

    This year I have been reading mostly Psychological Thrillers but was needing a change so I decided on The Neighborhood, which I was lucky enough, to receive a signed copy from the author. Can I say what a charming delight this book was!!!! The first book that I have read by Ms. Ring but will definitely not be the last.

    Who will honestly say that you have checked out what your neighbors are doing or shaking your heads at them? I know I have.

    Gretchen and Jarrod O’Malley have moved into a house in the quaint Sherwood Forest neighboorhood on a cul de sac where it appears that their neighbors are welcoming and all friendly. The day after their move, Maggie Gaines comes to visit and offers Gretchen help to unpack. However, the kind offer turns into a very uncomfortable feeling in Gretchen since Maggie is telling her where to put the unpacked items.

    Then what Gretchen and Jarrod thought was the ideal neighborhood turns into something that is hard to believe.

    This was an entertaining and quick read. I was chuckling at some of the incidents and then feeling creepy at others. I had to keep reading because I wanted to find out what was going to happen next in this little community. The characters were believable, even though, their antics were at times overpowering, quite intrusive and outlandish.

    I absolutely loved this book and know that I will never look at my neighbors again without thinking of the residents living in the Sherwood Forest area!

    Highly recommend!

    Q&A with Erina Bridget Ring

    Welcome and thank you for stopping by CMash Reads
    What inspired you to write this book?

    I’d like to start by saying it’s truly a pleasure to be a part of this experience, and I thank you Cheryl for the opportunity in order to participate.

    Having moved 21 times in my life, I have lived in different states and communities. I remember various homes and the neighbors within all those different communities. What struck me the most, was every time we moved a person would show up in my new neighborhood that would remind me of a person from my old one.

    What propelled me to write about The Neighborhood? A combination of things. You see, my neighborhood is going through changes, people have moved, the children have grown up and moved away, and unfortunately some have passed away. I was standing in my local grocery store talking with a friend that had some crazy things going on in her neighborhood and the neighbors were in an uproar. I left the store thinking I bet this is more common than I thought, and decided right then and there to investigate the goings on of other peoples neighborhoods.

    I have friends all over the country and I decided to survey them. I asked specific questions about where they lived, and I told them to not sugar coat the answers. I sent over 100 letters to families and when I started to get the surveys back, not only were photos included- the top ten types of people were the common thread within all of them! I remember saying out loud in my office…”We all live in the same Neighborhood!” I have to write about this.

    So, off to the local coffee shop I went. I started to write about a little town in the Midwest, with charming names of streets and my “characters” started to move right in and began to shape the story. I was writing my book and describing things, when all of a sudden a woman dashing around the neighborhood with binoculars and a clip board arrived. Gladys.

    The day Gladys arrived, the tone of my book changed from a sweet story of everyday life in America, to a humorous story of fun and dread within a somewhat fictional neighborhood.

    This was now my fifth novel, and began writing in 2014. I write Contemporary/ memoir /fiction. So basically, I am writing about things I observe in life and how they relate to people in my lifetime. Although my first book was a memoir, I quickly moved away from “Me” within the stories and an interesting thing happened. The people within my community thought I was writing about them! Now that is eye opening in of itself, and opened up a huge conversation about what I was writing about, and how personal it truly can be. Finally, I found myself not speaking about what I was writing so people would not tell others I was writing about them- as though it was a terrible thing! I found this also to be eye opening as people love to be in a book, until the person in the book does something devious, then people are upset and outraged. The reactions I’ve gotten have been mostly positive. The biggest challenge in me writing a novel is taking a deep breath and telling the reader a story, be it happy, sad, exciting, or plain dreadful. I really want my readers to feel and breath-in the emotions of my characters and be able to root for one side or the other.
    I loved Gladys. I so wanted to know what she was writing on her clipboard!!!!

    Give us a glimpse of the research that went into this book.
    Since this was my fifth novel, I just began writing in 2014. I write Contemporary/ memoir /fiction. So basically I am writing about things I observe in life and how they relate to people in my lifetime. Although my first book is a memoir, I quickly moved away from “Me” within the stories and a interesting thing happened. The people within my community thought I was writing about them! Now that is very eye opening and opened up a huge conversation about what I am writing and how personal it really is. I had to finally not talk about what I am writing so people would not tell other people I was writing about them as though it was a terrible thing! I found it eye opening people love to be in a book until the person in the book does something devious, then people are upset and outraged. The reactions I have gotten have been mostly positive. So the biggest challenge in me writing a novel is taking a deep breath and telling the reader a story be it happy, sad, exciting or plain dreadful. I really want my reader to feel, breath the emotions of my characters and root for one side or the other.
    I could definitely feel Gretchen’s emotions but I won’t say who I liked or disliked

    Your routine in writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
    I write at coffee shops and local restaurants. I had my very first interview at a local bakery, and I wrote my first novel and first newspaper article, with photos, at the very same one… and every book since then. My readers get a sense of the community I am writing about and have been so supportive.

    Tell us why we should read your book?
    Why should you read my book? Now that is a very interesting story. Since my first book is about me- my readers truly resonated with me within that story and wanted to hear more. Even though I have moved to fiction, I put a sense of myself within the books for the reader to pull them into the storyline. I speak to many people and have a wealth of stories from my personal life to share. I sell my books hand to hand, and try to connect with the reader on a level of acceptance. My following has now grown online through social media platforms, as I wrote all five novels without social media being present within my writing process. People are just now finding out about my stories and are reading them as I wrote them, as though they are a series. Each one of my books stands alone with different emotional ties, and dilemmas. What each book has within- is a sense of community, one that my reader wants to be a part of and/or can easily see themselves within.

    Are you working on your next novel? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?
    Am I working on another novel? Yes, I am excited to say another group of people arrived for me to write about. I am doing my research as I write this novel and its been challenging but funny, outrageous, sometimes sad, extremely interesting, and eye opening for me. I have traveled out of town to different places and since I am not completely 100% sure of the title yet…I will need to share that when the title is firmly set.

    Favorite leisure activities/hobbies?
    What do I do for fun? I am a wife and grandmother, an artist. I paint watercolors, and have played the piano since I was 3 years old. I love to walk my dog Ruby everyday. and of course- I love to write. Believe it or not, I had no idea I was a writer until I went through one of the roughest years, personally and emotionally in my life. My husband was writing his first novel which took him 15 years to complete, and he needed an editor. It was through my husband Jack, that I met his editor, Carolyn Woolston. She asked me one question, and my reply left her wanting to know more about “What Happened.” Jack and I drove to the coast to meet Carolyn to discuss Jack’s book, “Red Sky in the Morning.” A historical novel about WWll. She accepted Jack’s book to edit, and sent me home thinking about the possibility of writing a story about what I was going through personally. You see, I thought it would be a journal of sorts…but Knit 2, Purl 2, Kill 2 – A Caretakers Story of Survival, poured right out of me. I found out I was a writer in the process, a process that is still ongoing, and one that continues to surprise me…
    I am looking forward to reading this.

    Your novel will be a movie. You would you cast?
    What if my novel became a movie who would I cast? Well, that is an interesting question. I was at Starbucks writing when I happened to talk to a Sundance film maker….a shear by-chance meeting. We struck up a conversation because I was writing a gripping scene in my second novel, Breakfast with the FBI and I was trying to find a Kleenex. She offered me a napkin and we started talking. She found out I was a very “new” writer, and I told her about my journey, by being interviewed on NPR Radio, highlighted in the newspapers, with that, people were actually reading my books…I was amazed that she was amazed…and yes, I sent my first two novels to a film maker…and that was in the beginning. I had a hard time saying I was a writer. It was just so surreal. Anyway, for The Neighborhood, I would love to have Nicole Kidman as me, Gladys, would be Gladys from Bewitched, my husband Jarrod in the book would be Clint Eastwood. Maggie would be Sarah Jessica Parker, the felons in the book would be the actor from the mask of Zorro- and Larry and Larry, from Bob Newhart. Chip and Joanna Gaines would be the religious couple of the neighborhood- and the new couple that moves in, would be Julia Roberts and Ryan Reynolds. Last but not least, the hunter in the story would be Bill Murray. It would be very interesting and intriguing to see the dynamics of these people unfold. What a fun idea!
    While reading, I was also picturing Gladys from Betwitched and can definitely see those actors in the roles you mentioned

    Favorite foods?
    My favorite foods? Jack and I write very early in the morning…so we take time every day to meet up for a 2-3 hour lunch to discuss our day, what we are working on and any character problems we may be having. Our conversations must be funny to overhear because we can be talking about WWll, Spanish Civil War to Irish History and then on to what the name was of those bikers that we saw on that freeway, or to “what would you think if the neighbor jumped over the fence and put the dogs in the garage on a hot day…would you be mad?”

    We love to eat locally and the restaurant of choice is R&D Kitchen. This is the same luncheon spot we frequented while I was writing The Neighborhood, and now, my newest, untitled book. They serve fish, great chicken, and yummy salads. A place this writer can eat, relax, and enjoy her surroundings.

    Thank you again Cheryl for asking so many wonderful questions. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with you, and I hope you and your followers will enjoy reading the stories I’ve written, ones that are very near and dear to me.

    Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗


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