Featured Posts (2432)

I am thrilled to share the news that my latest novel, a collaboration with author and friend, Frank Dirscherl called Sanderson of Metro is now available for purchase in both paperback and hardcover editions. Published by Trinity Comics []. SANDERSON OF METRO is now available for purchase at the following:
Amazon (paperback):
Lulu (paperback):
Lulu (hardcover):
More to come...

Sanderson of Metro tells the origin story of Frank's character, Paul Sanderson, the man who eventually becomes known as The Wraith: Dread Scourge of the Underworld. The Wraith has previously appeared in comic books, novels, and even a movie. Sanderson of Metro is the first step in a The Wraith relaunch. It was an honor to be invited to play with Frank's characters and to work with Frank again. The last time we were on a project together was Lance Star: Sky Ranger vol. 1 back in 2006. I hope I did Paul Sanderson and The Wraith justice.

A novel featuring The Wraith by Frank Dirscherl and Bobby Nash

Two masters of the superhero pulp fiction world, Frank Dirscherl and Bobby Nash, have come together to tell this tale, the NEVER before told origin of the first Wraith/Paul Sanderson, as only they could. Witness to the original Sanderson's early childhood, the emptiness in his soul, his yearning for meaning in his life, his finding it in the wilds of Africa and coming face-to-face with the man who would one day become his greatest nemesis. And finally, how he was endowed with the awesome powers of the Eyes of Judgment, becoming the very first Wraith Dread Avenger of the Underworld. This action packed, atmospheric thrill ride could only be told now and could only be told by master storytellers like Dirscherl and Nash. An epic, never to be repeated and not to be missed.

FYI: Patrons received an ebook copy of Sanderson of Metro last week. See what you miss by not being a patron?

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My Giveaway is over. 20 People won copies of the River Bones eBook. So far, 15 of the 20 have claimed their prize. I suspect by this evening all will be claimed. So... Watch for my next giveaway. You could win.

I'm running a GIVEAWAY. 20 People can win! Yes, 20! See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: River Bones (Sara Mason Mysteries Book 1) (Kindle Edition). NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of Nov 7, 2017 11:59 PM PST, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules

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A Daughter's Promise is a compelling memoir that follows author Fran Lewis' mother Ruth Swerdloff's journey after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and the affect that the disease had on Ruth, Fran, and their family.

Ruth and Fran take the reader on an emotional journey as they recount Ruth's difficult battle as the progression of the disease overtakes her life, and the tragic affect that it had on Fran as her primary caregiver.

As a retired nursing home administrator, I couldn't help but become captivated by this bittersweet story. In my twenty years of running nursing homes, I have watched many patients, families, and caregivers as they tried to navigate and deal with this heart wrenching disease as best as they possibly could.

A Daughter's Promise is a beautifully written and very moving memoir that documents the very sobering struggle that Ruth endured while battling the disease, and how Fran was determined to keep the promise of providing home care for Ruth instead of placing her in a nursing home. You can't help but feel compassion and empathy as Ruth's story unfolds, it will tug at your heartstrings as both Ruth and Fran's account of this devastating disease changed their lives. I would be remiss if I didn't mention how much I appreciated the very detailed information, facts, and website links that Fran provides the readers if they should ever find themselves facing this journey with their loved ones.

A Daughter's Promise is an amazing memoir that will tug at the heartstrings and stir the soul.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Providence Book Promotions.


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The Brede Chronicles - Book 1 - Review by Martha A Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Elektra Tate who, abandoned, grew up in the streets of New Cairo, probably all human thereby reducing her to the lowest strata of society; the proscribed citizens.  She lived as a child in Garbage City, the filthy area reserved for the poorest of the poor of New Cairo.  Garbage City resulted as overpopulation of the country escalated unrestrained in recent centuries causing its citizens to take refuge anywhere they could.  Her current abode was an ancient tomb in one of New Cairo's cemetery cities that even the residents of Garbage City avoided.  And then she meets.....

Alekzander Brede whose earth father and amphidian mother's marriage produced him with full citizen rights on each planet and most planets in between.  Any other rights he did not have he merely took.  There were others like him; perhaps not exactly the same mix but close enough to make them all humanoid, enhancing the economic state of New Cairo.  It also gave him a taste for earth women, the more human the better.

I've never been fond of futuristic books and I can't say that I've ever read a book that made me dislike one of the main characters as much as I found myself disliking Alekzander Brede.  His character is of a cruel man who enjoys hurting Elektra Tate more than anything else he does in life.  There were times I would wish the author would kill him off and bring in a better, more likable character.  Well, that didn't happen and I knew it wouldn't because this is the 1st book in a series of books titled The Brede Chronicles.  So, how is she going to make me like him, must a little?  Well, she did, but not until the end of the book and by the end I mean the last 2 pages!  And she did this in a way that I'm anticipating the reading of Book 2 and will impatiently be waiting for it to come out.

This book is FULL of action and a very hard book to put down!

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Snow Storm - Bobby Nash, Author

Snow Storm - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of: Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

I got a call from a lawyer friend of mine.  I helped him track down some folks a few times and whenever he could, he tossed some business my way.  This one didn't seem like anything out of the ordinary.  This lady split with her husband and then she up and moves away, taking their now teenage daughter with her.  The dad, Anthony Mann needed someone to help find the kid so he could get in touch... I found the ex.  She changed her name, which was weird and set of a few alarm bells.  The daughter changed her last name as well.  At first I assumed the mother had remarried and the daughter had taken the new guy's name, but she never remarried.  Mom works for a manufacturing outfit based out of Texas and travels a lot for the job.  She owns a small home in Florida, but also keeps an apartment in Atlanta.  My guess is that's where the daughter's living these days.  I found out she was accepted to Georgia Tech.  I've not been there yet.  Something about this whole thing didn't sit right with me so I did a little digging into both the lady and her ex-husband before I did anything else.

Samson Brooks wasn't just someone Snow had worked with while undercover, he was also a close friend.  So, when he filled him in on his search for Katie Masters and informed him that her real name was Katie Manelli, Snow's ears perked up.  Turns out that she is the granddaughter of Antonio Manelli, one of the biggest mob leaders in the country.

As Brooks and Snow go to Atlanta to pick Katie up and take her to a safe place, they meet trouble of the mob kind. The problem is this mob isn't part of the Manelli family, but of their biggest rival the Roarke family.

In Snow Storm, you'll find bullets flying and plenty of action as Snow, Brooks, Snow's brother and grandfather all try to keep the two families from killing each other as well as Katie and her mother Pamela.  It has a few twists and turns that kept me reading not sure this could be accomplished.  I must say, this isn't a very lengthy book but it is one that I really enjoyed.  It also left me with enough information about Book 3 that I'm looking forward to diving into it soon.  I'll give you a hint - Daniella Cordoza will apparently be brought back into the story.  If you don't know who she is, read Book 1 - Snow Falls and you'll see why I'm excited about her appearance.

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Sharing Amazon stats for The Ka

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)

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Like the habañera
If you’re writing fiction, you need to use metaphors and similes.  Why?  Because you need to develop memorable characters, characters that your readers can hardly wait to tell their friends about.  “You’ve got to read this book. You’ll (love, hate, laugh at, cry about, want to marry, want to kill—pick one) this character (supply name here).”
So, what do I mean by metaphors and similes in fiction?
“John had big ears.”  That’s not going to make John memorable. “John had large ears.”  Nope. No better.  “John had huge ears.”  A tiny bit better.  “John’s ears looked like weather balloons attached to his head.”  That’s a simile – comparing two things which are dissimilar items, such as comparing ears to weather balloons, and using the word “like” or “as.” Which description are you going to remember?  Sure, it’s a gross exaggeration, but it gets the idea across and in a way that will be remembered.
“Mano’s hand was a catcher’s mitt.”  That is a metaphor -- the comparison of two things that are in general not alike, without using “like” or “as.” The reader knows this guy didn’t really have a catcher’s mitt for a hand. But the reader knows very clearly, this guy had big hands, exceptionally big hands, beefy hands. Your reader will remember that feature about him. You, the author, can use that fact later in the book to good advantage. And guess what?  The reader will remember.

“Her eyes were like sapphires cut to catch the light and sparkle.”  Simile. (Her eyes were like…) “His eyes were lasers, the kind that cut through steel.” Metaphor.  (His eyes were …)  “He was only five feet tall, but his feet were as big as a seven-foot giant’s.” Simile.
In my latest mystery Over My Dead Body, I say, " ... Syd’s small, frame house, like a giant, square tumbleweed."  Simile.  In my book A Ton of Gold, I describe a woman's hair, " black and shiny as obsidian."  Simile. 
Can you overdo the use of metaphor and simile? You most certainly can. They should be like the habañera: not used on everything, and not used too much. (Simile.)
Remember, one of your goals is to develop memorable characters.  Similes and metaphors can help make a character memorable.

James R. Callan is a multi-published author in fiction and non-fiction. He regularly gives workshops on various aspects of writing at conferences across Texas, Mexico and, and online.


Cleansed by Fire and Over My Dead Body are available as Audio books, with five-time Emmy Award winner Jonathan Mumm narrating each book. To hear a sample of Cleansed by Fire just click here, and click on "Play Audio Sample". To hear a sample of Over My Dead Body just click here, and then click on "Play Audio Sample"

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Do you believe in ghosts? Rooney Fontaine doesn't—or didn't until one named Stuart Granger shows up in her hotel room. Now the humorous, yet desperate, apparition is begging her to find the men who murdered him before his brother becomes their next victim.

After serving three tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq, Stephan Granger is no stranger to risk and peril. When a woman shows up at his house rambling about ghosts, murder and assassins, his first inclination is to deem her wrong in the head and send her packing. But how does she know things that happened to him and his dear departed brother in their childhoods, secrets they never shared with anyone?

Soon after he invites her in to hear more about what really happened to Stuart, gunfire splits the air and shatters all the windows in the house. Someone is trying to kill them. Now they're on the run from assassins while trying to find out who killed his brother and why they want him dead too.


Even amid murder and mayhem, sometimes you find love






"Do you believe in ghosts? If so, A GHOST TO DIE FOR by Keta Diablo will have you captivated while the hero and heroine deal with the fracking company who killed the hero's brother. Great story."

"This is one paranormal with a terrific ghost."

"A really great story! I enjoyed the writing and the plot in A Ghost to Die For."

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Chapters - XIII

sleeping dogIt’s lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallarta to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time-this should be banned.”

This brings up a topic of discussion I have with many people: when do you find time to write?

Well, for 16 years, I worked the night shift at various motels. 11p-7a. My weekends were whatever two days the supervisor scheduled. Usually, I would go home and if I needed to be up for class later that evening, I would go to sleep right away. If I had a free evening I would consider going outside to workout. Run, bike. When I lived at the campground for several months, my workout schedule was very erratic. When I moved to Carlisle, I discovered the high school was across the street so that meant the football field surrounded by the track. This made it easier to run in the mornings. There were times, on my days off when I would run late at night or in the wee hours. It was quiet and cool and nobody to bother me.

Now that I work for Gannett, I’ve had a lot of overtime. Sleep is precious. I’m often tired in the evenings even if I don’t work OT. Sleep has been an issue because many nights I can’t fall asleep when I want. I toss and turn, go out to the too short couch and doze, back to the bed, etc. I may not fall asleep for a couple hours. This makes me tired at work.

On weekends, I catch up on a bit of sleep. And on weekends, is when I usually write. Maybe I’ll do some in the evenings I’m free (I think Tuesday, for the most part is free a lot, unless I go to a writers’ critique group). Saturdays or Sundays are my writing days. I go out to a local park and sit in the shade at a picnic table and write.

I’m working on a collaborative story. I have been waking up and going into work early and spending a few minutes on Google Drive editing this story. Sometimes it works, but with that OT, not often.

Sleep. Sometimes I want to write, but I know sleep demands attention. A nap is in order. Otherwise, I’d feel like I was trying to force the words and I wouldn’t be able to concentrate.

How about you? How does your sleep schedule affect your writing?

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Taser your writing Muse

Writers block is something often mentioned when a group of writers get together. How do you fix it? How do you deal with the menace of the blank page? Has your Muse abandoned you?

Well, firstly writer’s block is just a temporary inability to write. It may feel horrible, but it’s not leprosy. So get away from the chair of angst and go fill up your creative bucket with some experiences. Get out and listen to people talking, take a long walk and really look at the scenery, talk to trees and mutter to yourself. Find a new insect and follow it home. Pat stray dogs and cats and smile at people. Do some charity or volunteer work and reconnect with the world. Go to the library and pick up three random books and read them. Make something- bake a cake, do something with your hands like gardening, craft or brush the dog. Spring clean the house. Run, walk, bike, swim, move in the fresh air.

But most of all, get away from social media. It is a timesuck, hours that you will never have again are stolen from you by random stuff and other people being horrible to each other or selling stuff you don’t need.

After a break, don’t even think of writing until the urge is unbearable. Use the time perhaps to think of yourself as a writer. Why do you write? What are your short and long term goals? Or do you just like to think of yourself as a writer even though you haven’t written anything? Don’t get sucked into the writer’s lifestyle and agonise about it without having written anything. Writers actually write, they don’t just agonise or talk about it.

Ok. Still stuck for inspiration? Here are some things that have helped me personally. Out of prompts like these I have churned out short stories, poems, and several novels. There is something about random words and images that makes the Muse jump like a tasered villain.

Random words – there is a free app called ‘InspireMe’ which gives you three random word prompts, and there are probably dozens of others. Otherwise get a bunch of writers to pick a set of topics such as genre, mood, emotion, colour, noun, place, verb etc. and a word with those. Choose three, and then swap with someone else. For example, one I got was genre- beat poetry, thing – clown, actions- tears. By yourself you could pick up a dictionary or book and do the same.

Line of Poetry – choose a line of poetry to inspire or incorporate into a story. Put a twist in it. I used T.S. Elliot’s Wasteland to inspire a sci fi story. I find using poetry gives the story itself a lyrical ring.

Songs – pick a line from a song, or tell the story behind a song. Bear in mind song lyrics are copyrighted, so be careful if you want to publish them anywhere.

Newspaper and magazine photos – plenty of scope on every page.

Google images – want to write on a theme or topic? Google some images for some more ideas.

Mind map – you may have seen these used to brainstorm. Basically write your words or an idea/image inside a circle, then write in all the things that come to mind. Draw lines to things that connect. Add in conflict, plot, theme, setting and characters and you have a book, so off you go!

Nano prompts – National Write a Novel in November is a fantastic way to get inspiration. They often have random prompts to move you through your story – I have used the travelling shovel of death, and others include having a ninja or pirate enter the scene. Raymond Chandler famously said when stuck, to have someone come through the door with a gun. Do something unexpected, you can always edit it out later on, but you may find it has really added to the action and excitement of the story.

Join facebook group prompts – I know I said keep off social media, but really who can do that? So make it worthwhile and do some of the photo prompts offered by groups such as Rhetoric Askew. From these prompts I and many others have written flash fiction, short stories and poems. Use the time pressure to your advantage, and you will usually get some excellent feedback for your efforts. Attention seekers as we all are, any feedback is bliss!

Stuck in the middle of something like a novel? Stop for a bit and analyse why you are blocked. It might be a large or a small reason. For instance, it is hard to keep on writing if you doubt yourself as a writer, or despair of ever being published or anyone hearing your words. Let me reassure you, unless you have a superego, everyone feels like this at some stage. For this problem try and remember why you write at all and rekindle the pleasure of just setting words to page. If you want to be published, be proactive and actually submit something.

Smaller reasons to get stuck may be resolved by asking yourself what the reader and the characters are getting out of this scene. Try summarising it to get to a more exciting part, you can return when editing. Maybe some research is needed. Change it up a bit. If you are a planner, write something spontaneous or outside your plan. No plan? Sketch out a rough timeline of events.

I hope some of these help you as a writer to continue to build your world of words. Writers have the ability to create a device that can transport total strangers to another world. It’s called a story, and they live inside you, yearning to be free.

Author Bio

Cindy Tomamichel is a writer of action adventure romance novels. The heroines don’t wait to be rescued, and the heroes earn that title the hard way.

She has poetry and a short stories in the recent anthologies of Rhetoric Askew. More of her published work is on her website.

Her book - Druid's Portal – is on Amazon, and out in paperback Sept 30th. It is a time travel romance, set in Roman Britain around Hadrian's Wall. Action and adventure with plenty of fighting, ancient goddesses and druids. It's not your typical romance, but it will set your heart racing!

Druids Portal:

Preview link:


Cindy’s contacts are below if you would like to share this adventure.



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Flights of Fancy
Dawn L. Huffaker
Lulu (October 15, 2009)

Flights of Fancy is a collection of poetry representing New Mexico poet Dawn Huffaker’s best work from the past twenty-five years.

The author has divided the ninety or so selections into six chapters, or flights, as she calls them. Straight away it is apparent that Huffaker loves nature, her friends, and her family and of course the New Mexico Mountains, as all have inspired her creations.

In the first flight entitled Magical Seasons, sixteen poems are offered marking the differences in weather and the emotional effects of the four seasons. These poems are filled with youthful enthusiasm as I’m sure many were written during high school years. Next is Life’s Wonder’s. Sixteen poems about college, growing up, and relationships with those kept close. Emotional Trips has a personal feel, as she visits basic emotions such joy, anger, and grief. Nature Interludes takes an up close look at Mother Nature’s greatest masterpieces from the moon and stars, mountains and moonlight to butterflies, storms, and floods. Huffaker gives thanks to God in the fifth Chapter, Universal Reveries. In the final flight, Word Paintings, the author wraps up the collection with six titles that wouldn’t easily fit into any of the other chapters with poetry about aquariums, balloons, and postage stamps.

Huffaker has done a wonderful job formatting her book with intricate designs framing each page and beautiful black and white photography gracing chapter introductions.

Her work is observational. She describes the world around her with no wasted words, and without using poetic devices that could suggest multiple interpretations. No simile or metaphor to cloud her meaning. She delivers her message without irony or symbolism to alter the impact of her words. This is free verse in every sense with mild use of rhyme and even less rhythm. Many of the poems here are simple acronym poetry that took me back to my first exposure to writing poetry in early grade school. An example:


Just a time when
One person or thing takes
You to heaven and back again.

Dawn Huffaker has a definite passion for poetry. One can easily see the joy and comfort that writing brings to her life. I recommend Flights of Fancy to those who enjoy their poetry down-to-earth and to the point.

By William Potter for Reader’s Choice Book Reviews

Available at

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Actor Jake Dudman selected as narrator for The Rite of Wands audiobook

BHC Press announced September 21, 2017 they have entered into a five-book publishing agreement with YA author Mackenzie Flohr. The Rite of Abnegation, the second book in The Rite of Wands series, will be released under the agreement with a 2018 publication date and tells the tale of Mierta McKinnon, a young wizard.

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Audiobooks and America's War for Independence

Audiobooks have become an excellent resource for me. They don't cause eyestrain, and I can absorb quite a bit while listening, especially when a skillful reader animates a text. For example --

I've been doing some thinking ahead. If I can finish the novel I'm revising now and decide to start a new one, I'll likely take up a subject I've avoided so far -- the American Revolution. I've recently listened to three audiobooks that give accounts of this war, which has not only shaped the United States but has influenced peoples' minds all over the world.

Though I've studied a fair amount of history in schools, I had only a broad outline of the American War for Independence. During my listening, I've had more than one surprise.

  • Our Revolution wasn't a storybook war but was a nasty affair, with countless deaths and injuries. At times, American soldiers were so poorly supplied that they sometimes marched or fought in winter conditions barefoot and bloody. 2500 soldiers died of cold, hunger, or illness at their winter quarters from 1777-78 in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. The following winter in Morristown was worse.
  • I've learned that Americans weren't supposed to win the war, for the British navy had control of the sea and their army was disciplined and confident that they'd succeed in punishing colonists who acted like rebellious children. Americans soldiers, by contrast, were  mostly untrained and without experience. Persistence and determination carried them through.
  • Only three American generals served through the whole war: Nathanael Greene, Henry Knox, and George Washington, who was no figurehead. He brought discipline to the American army and held it together. The sight of him riding his horse among soldiers who'd fought more than one disappointing battle revived spirits and and kept tired men going.
  • Martha Washington and other women contributed to the American effort by tending to wounded soldiers and providing food and decent clothing.  
  • The French, who longed to defeat their British rivals, contributed enormously with money, soldiers, ships, and skilled leaders. It's not clear to me that Americans alone could have won the war without the French. Officers from Poland and Germany also provided substantial help. Baron von Steuben, for instance, brought invaluable training in drill and discipline. He shocked other officers by working directly with enlisted men like a sergeant.
  • American forces tried to take Canada. They held Montreal for a time but fared poorly when they reached Quebec City and retreated in defeat.
  • After indifferent success fighting the northern colonies, the British adopted a southern strategy. They thought they had supporters there and that they'd bring the rebellious colonists a neverending headache if they could detach the four southern colonies from the north. As it happened, the cruelty of British occupying forces turned people against them. Two hundred skirmishes and battles took place in South Carolina alone, more than in  any other state.
  • One South Carolinian, Francis Marion, contributed greatly to the British retreat from his state. He led fairly small groups of soldiers in what we now call guerrilla warfare. He fought at night, relied on surprise, and kept the enemy off balance. Still known as the Swamp Fox, Marion's methods make him controversial even today. A British commentator recently called him a terrorist who doesn't deserve honorable recognition. Maybe so, but he's part of the story, he fought well, and many admired him.
  • Even after Lord Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia in 1781, fighting continued, especially in western territory.
  • The years after the Revolution were filled with uncertainty. What kind of money would Americans have? How would the states pay their war debts? Would the new country have a strong or weak central government?  A tax rebellion took place in Massachusetts. Discussions in 1787 about a new constitution came with no clear direction or guarantee of success. How much autonomy would states have? Which was more important -- community or personal liberty? What about slavery?

Two issues came to mind during my hours of listening:

  • I heard a comment that America's elites at the time got the Revolution  going and made sure it continued. Leaders are important, of course, but if the people didn't see a benefit for themselves in the war, they wouldn't have fought and died and put up with extreme inconvenience. The leaders didn't create the spirit of dogged persistence that gained the Americans victory. I like to think of it this way -- that everyone's a servant, even the rich and powerful.
  • The turbulence that marked the War for Independence  and the years after has been an occasional feature of American life ever since -- later wars, years of economic trouble, times of protest, and when people hunger for political change.  The country grows as a result of periods of stress.     
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Sabotage at RKO Studio (the second James Murray Mystery) - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of:  Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; and A Book and A Dish

... his time was running out.  There were just a few days left until the Thursday night premiere of King Kong and still no sight of the missing spider scene.  Luckily for him, the studio was otherwise humming along, the seemingly innocent "accidents' pretty much over.  No more fires, no more shredded costumes, no more missing miniature dinosaurs.  But then, the damage had already been done, hadn't it?  All productions were back on schedule.  Now, if James could only figure out what happened to the missing scene, he'd be set.

James Murray has gone to work at RKO Studio to write the screenplay for his mystery "Murder at Eastern Columbia." The rights for the movie had been bought by the studio and it was up to him to get it in shape to start the movie.  This was all fine except for a few minor problems.  One - his mind just wasn't into writing a screenplay.  Two - someone was sabotaging activities at the studio and his boss 'Cooper' has instructed him to investigate.  And three - his mind is on writing his next book.  As it turns out the two and three are becoming combined as he writes his next book about the events that are taking place at the studio.

As I read Sabotage at RKO Studio I was lost as to the reason for the events taking place at the studio.  It appears that it sits on top of an oil field so that could be the reason.  Then James meets a woman on the  streetcar who seems to get upset when he talks about the 'accidents' and leads me to believe she may have something to hide but I could see no connections.  So yes, I was baffled by the outcome of this one.

This book turned out to be a different, yet fun read.  You read the story as the events take place but you also read it in the novel form as James writes his next book.  Interesting, especially the end.

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Death Overdue - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish


Carrie Singleton is back in Clover Ridge, Connecticut, spiked purple hair and all.  She’s staying with Great Uncle Bosco and Aunt Harriet, who offered her a home when her own mother wouldn't. As for her father—for all Carrie knows, he might be back in jail. But it’s time to move on. The job Uncle Bosco has wrangled for her in the Clover Ridge Library is boring and makes no use of her library science degree. Besides, much as she’s grown to love her aunt and uncle, she simply can’t stay in one place very long. She’ll soon turn thirty, and she’s held five jobs in as many states. it’s time to go.


The library director’s offer to be Head of Programs and Events comes as a shock. It would mean drastic changes in Carrie’s lifestyle. No more purple hair. No more black Goth outfits. No more running carefree.  She would have responsibilities. Others would be depending on her. She would have to grow up and fast.

The ghost of Evelyn Havers appears and urges Carrie to take the job. Evelyn worked in the library until her death a few years ago. At Carrie's first scheduled event, a retired homicide detective is murdered while talking about a cold case he claims to have solved. Carrie believes the two murders are linked. With Evelyn’s help she sets out to find the murderer.


Allison Brook is one author that I can't get enough of.  I've read everything she has written, I think, and have enjoyed them all.  When I started Death Overdue, I decided I knew who the murderer was after about 60 pages.  Yep, I was wrong.  I wasn't surprised when the truth finally came out, but by then I had about 6 suspects.  Finishing this book has left room for many more books to come. I can't wait to read them.


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What's New with Marilyn Levinson

I'm happy to announce I've a new book coming out in October with Crooked Lane Books written under the pseudonym Allison Brook. DEATH OVERDUE is the first in my new Haunted Library Mystery series. My sleuth, Carrie Singleton, forgoes her purple hair and Goth attire to become head of programs and events at the Clover Ridge Library. She finds herself embroiled in solving a cold case and a new murder with the occasional help of the library’s sixty-something ghost amid family squabbles, romance and discovering her place in life. Those who have already read DEATH OVERDUE find it fun read.

DEATH OVERDUE can be preordered on Amazon at:

Untreed Reads has made an audiobook of A MURDERER AMONG US, the first in my Twin Lake Mysteries, awarded a Suspense Magazine Best Indie and on BookTown's 2014 Summer Reading list!! Here are the links:


The ebook is still only 99 cents.

And audiobook of MURDER IN THE AIR, the next in the series, will be available soon.

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A Writer's Fanfare



            In the nineteen fifties, my interest was captured by the Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene. Each holiday I would request the latest Nancy Drew title and on receiving it I would curl-up in an over-sized chair and begin reading the fast-paced adventure.

            Whereby, I dabbled at creating my own mystery stories at an early age. My first effort detailed a long, frightening chase by a sinister man. A dark tunnel appeared, leading to (of course) a haunted mansion. The not-so-brilliant ending had me saved by the man of my life at the time – my father.

            My parents and teachers would often tell me, “Patty, you are a dreamer. You have a vivid imagination. Put it to good use.” It was at that point, in lieu of playing with friends or watching the new small-box-wonder – TV, I sat at an old desk in the kitchen and wrote mystery stories. I also drew stick figures to illustrate the action in the stories. The discovery of boys replaced pen and paper. The telephone became my favorite instrument and I lost interest in reading and writing until a formidable nun taught me English in High School. With a revival of interest, I picked up where I left off, writing saleable poetry and a variety of articles, essays, and short stories. Presently, I am taking a writing course and penning novels.

            Ironically, my mainstream stories have brought me the most success and recognition. I have often wondered, why? I have discovered that although I like to create a good mystery story, I shy from describing extreme violence or gratuitous sex and the uncanny evil bred in psychological serial killers who torture, maim and murder their victims. I prefer to write cozy mystery stories.

            Two favorite characters I have created for general entertainment are Gert Carver and Nina Westacott. Friends for many years, the two women pursue bottle mining and flea market quests. I was fortunate to have a close relationship with two aunts. The idea came to mind to express how their uniqueness affected me as a child. I wished to pass the essence of their warm and zany personalities on to others and I fictionalized them.


            In writing mystery stories, I am determined to have justice served. My recent sojourn to the Rensselaer County Courthouse for jury selection impressed me that perpetrators have more rights than victims. It confirmed what I already knew; people are victimized once during the actual crime and once during the detailing of the sordid events leading to the crime at the trial. Can anyone blame a person who refuses to go through a debilitating trial? Hence, the perpetrator gets away with a plea bargain or less and walks away a free man. Often, he/she commits a similar crime. I would like to shadow dedicated professionals and put into writing the need for more honesty and integrity in the justice system.

            Ideas for a writer’s fanfare are everywhere. Newspapers are a good source for material; just study the headlines. What if …?


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