Friday, September 27, 2019



Literary caterer Letitia ‘Tish’ Tarragon is preparing her English Secret Garden-themed luncheon for Coleton Creek’s annual garden club awards, but when she is taken on a tour of some of the top contenders with the garden club’s president, Jim Ainsley, Tish is surprised at how seriously the residents take the awards – and how desperate they are to win.

Wealthy, retired businessman Sloane Shackleford has won the coveted best garden category five years in a row, but he and his Bichon Frise, Biscuit, are universally despised. When Sloane’s bludgeoned body is discovered in his pristine garden, Tish soon learns that he was disliked for reasons that go beyond his green fingers. Have the hotly contested awards brought out a competitive and murderous streak in one of the residents?

Book Details:

Title: The Garden Club Murder

Author: Amy Patricia Meade

Genre: cozy mystery

Series: A Tish Tarragon Mystery, book 2

Publisher: Severn House Publishers (September 1, 2019)

Print length: 208 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours


Strangely enough, my Tish Tarragon mystery series began, not as a culinary mystery, but as an answer to a call for a mystery featuring animals and a small town veterinary office.

My sample pages for the veterinary mystery were ultimately rejected, but my agent and I so loved the characters of Julian Jefferson Davis, Mary Jo Okensholt, Celestine Rufus, and the small town setting that they deserved their own series—a series that did not involve a veterinary office. But if not a veterinary office, then where?

During a flurry of pre-Christmas emails exchanged while I was visiting in Vermont, my agent finally asked: “Aside from writing, what are you passionate about?”

The answer was clear to anyone who’s even glanced at my social media accounts. Cooking.

After a few more emails, and probably a few glasses of holiday wine, we decided to replace the capable brunette Dr. Reed with the blonde cook, Tish Tarragon, and set the series at a literary café and catering business just outside Richmond, Virginia, as I was living in Williamsburg, Virginia at the time.

We also agreed to include more than a few terrible puns on the menu. Recharged and with tongue fully in cheek, I set to work on a synopsis and the sample pages immediately after Christmas. By May, I had secured a two-book publishing contract with Severn House Books.

I’ve been fortunate to be able to write about my passion for cooking in my preferred genre. With the publication of The Garden Club Murder, I’ve had the thrill of combining my passion for cooking with my passion for gardens.

I’m not going to lie. I’ve not had the best relationships with some of the plants in my keep. I don’t possess a black thumb, but it’s certainly not bright green either. Perhaps more a shade of olive.

However since moving out of snowy Vermont, I had become a great fan of visiting gardens and exploring new plants and flowers I had never seen. Spring and summer Saturday mornings in Williamsburg meant visiting Colonial Williamsburg marketplace for its weekly farmer’s market and then a wander through its many gardens. On each visit we’d mark the progression of daffodils and tulips as they poked their heads through the early March soil and were gradually replaced by peonies, roses, phlox, and, finally, asters.

When we left Williamsburg to settle in England, I was excited to explore our new home, but was sad to leave our garden jaunts behind. Little did I know that new garden wonders awaited. 

Agatha Christie’s holiday home of Greenway was to become a frequent spot for passing a lazy Sunday afternoon. There were garden walks to enjoy and the progression of blooms in the walled garden as well as the trails that follow the River Dart and wind up at The Battery and the boat house, the inspiration for Dame Agatha’s Dead Man’s Folly. And then there was the jewel of Devon, Coleton Fishacre, with its exotic gardens and subtropical climate. Winding paths that led through fields of bluebells in April and forests of blooming camelias in winter.

Armed with my newfound appreciation for all things green, I set about sharing my affection for the plant world in my second Tish Tarragon mystery, The Garden Club Murder, which takes place at a garden competition in the over-sixty community of Coleton Creek.

Paying homage not just to Coleton Fishacre, but to gardens on both sides of the pond, my novel depicts a four-square colonial garden filled with Sweet Williams, herbs, and other heirloom plants, a traditional rose-filled English cottage garden, a pastoral wildflower garden replete with pond, an evergreen garden filled with trees and shrubs of varying colors and textures, and finally a modern garden with a water feature I’d only heard about after my visit to Coleton: a rill, or stream.

Like each garden I’ve visited, the gardens in The Garden Club Murder have their own unique character and also reflect the people who built them. I hope you enjoy your visit with the gardens and residents of Hobson Glen and Coleton Creek.


 Author of the critically acclaimed Marjorie McClelland Mysteries, Amy Patricia Meade is a native of Long Island, New York where she cut her teeth on classic films and books featuring Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown.

After stints as an Operations Manager for a document imaging company and a freelance technical writer, Amy left the bright lights of New York City and headed north to pursue her creative writing career amidst the idyllic beauty of Vermont’s Green Mountains.

Now residing in Bristol, England, Amy spends her time writing mysteries with a humorous or historical bent. When not writing, Amy enjoys traveling, testing out new recipes, classic films, and exploring her new home.

Connect with Amy:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Instagram 

Buy the books:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  AbeBooks

Wednesday, September 25, 2019



PJ Taylor, the feline shapeshifter, is back! Someone is kidnapping people’s pet cats and holding them for ransom. When PJ’s beloved niece is catnapped, the trail leads PJ to Nowhere, a tiny hamlet north of her hometown of Mayhap. What intrigues will PJ find among the inhabitants of this minuscule community? You can bet it involves at least one person up to no good and flushing this person out could be…murder!

Book Details:

Title: Road to Nowhere

Author: Cy Wyss

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: Eyeshine, book 2

Publisher: Nighttime Dog Press, LLC (September 1, 2019)

Print length: 222 pages


The Art of Not Taking Advice

Everyone and their mentors all say that if you’re an indie author, whatever you do, don’t create your own covers. Step away from the notion you can create something decent. You’ll just end up embarrassing yourself.

Having a long history of not taking sage advice, and also having a few courses in art under my belt from when I was younger, I set out to completely disregard this advice. Like most contrary acts, it was both a great and terrible idea.

There is more motivation behind my insouciance than just financial. I’ve actually had rather rotten luck with designers. I’ve had them fail to produce the work they promised, produce shoddy work, and charge me a ton of money for something I can’t imagine not being able to do myself.

Armed with GIMP, the “free Photoshop,” I set out to outfit my own books with graphic art from my own mind and talent. Now that I’ve been creating covers for a few years, I can honestly say that I don’t recommend it unless you’re actually a graphic designer. Because, I basically had to become a graphic designer to get anything that was halfway decent and able to compete with the “big boys”—the professionals hired by the big publishing companies.

Let’s look at two case studies: Dimorphic (my first book), and Eyeshine (my second). Each had a distinct progression, through unreliable hired artists to my own early attempts and, finally, to my more learned offerings.

My covers really took off when I studied with Stuart Bache by taking the Covers that Sell course associated with Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Formula platform. Using Stuart’s techniques—plus years of practice, and I do mean years—I’ve been able to make decent covers recently.



The 2016 Eyeshine cover isn’t bad (in fact it’s pretty good), but it was seriously expensive, and I wasn’t about to pay $500 for every cover in my long, planned series. Plus, I wasn’t sure how it would translate to future books in the series. It is important they are similar and consistently recognizable.

        The Eyeshine Series—So Far

You can find more of my covers at and also Thanks for reading! What do you think? Should indie authors ignore all that well-meaning advice and learn graphic design?


Robert Taylor entered the brownstone via the back door, closing it quietly behind himself. He was in a landing of pale green and gray with tan carpet and stairs leading upward and a sandwich board on the wall with office numbers. The woman he was looking for was in 303, two stories above him. He ascended the two flights, his heart leaden with reluctance.
He considered himself a unicorn – someone special and rare. Not only was he smart and successful (head of his own one-man FBI office in Mayhap, Indiana), the women in his family had the unusual proclivity to turn into cats when the sun set. This made them particularly effective operatives, although in fearing for their safety he often restricted their usefulness. His sister, PJ, had been his most important informant up until her recent death. He couldn’t believe she was gone.
It didn’t seem real. Didn’t cats have nine lives? He somehow expected PJ to rise from her grave and come back to him. Instead, here he was, about to attempt to convince a psychotherapist of his sanity in the face of his recent tragedies. All he wanted was to get back to work. They wouldn’t let him back without the sign-off from this woman, Ms. Julia Herzenberg. Her name conjured images of some ancient Freudian presence, maybe someone who looked like Dear Abby or Ruth Bader-Ginsberg, with copious wrinkles and a severe bun. He shivered at the idea of exposing his inner life to this person.
On the third floor, the stairwell opened into a larger space of muted pastels that smelled of rose and mint. Three doors greeted him, and he pushed through the one whose frosted glass proclaimed it 303. Inside, soft new age music played, and the floral scent was stronger. The culprit was an incense burner on a small table near the door. Thin smoke wafted from a glazed, bulbous pot in gray ombre. The walls of the suite were a soothing blue and the furniture worn leather in earthy browns. Striped pillows and throw blankets abounded, and health magazines lined the coffee table. Robert perched on the edge of a fat armchair and crossed his legs, interlacing his fingers around his knee. He waited, with the demeanor of a man about to face something dire and unwanted.
His first impression of Julia Herzenberg when she opened the inner door was that she looked nothing like an old psychiatrist or supreme court judge. Her hair flowed around her head in generous curls, spilling from her shoulders in waves of auburn silk. Her eyes were a crystalline green the likes of which he had only seen previously on actresses or fashion models. She was tall and thin, with slender, manicured fingers and long legs beneath a plaid wool skirt. She reminded him of a willow – inscrutable and eternal, with Nature’s grace and strength.
“Robert Taylor?” she asked.
It took him a moment to shut his flapping mouth and recover his aplomb.
“Yes,” he finally said, extending his hand.
She shook it firmly, her hand warm and dry. She led him into a brown hallway, and to an office at one end. The room contained the same homey furniture as the waiting area, in neutral shades of soft leather with woven and plush accompaniments.
“Have a seat,” she said.
He stared at the wide couch before him.
“Do I need to lie down?” he asked.
“Only if you want to,” she said.
She sat in an armchair across from the couch with her knees pressed together and her hands folded in her lap. She studied him, an entirely unassuming expression on her porcelain face. Awkwardly, he perched on the edge of the couch and rested his weight on his elbows on his thighs. He let his hands dangle.
She remained still and silent as he took in his surroundings. The paintings on the walls were interesting but not distracting and consisted of abstractions that reminded him of natural surroundings. The lights were incandescent, and the shades partially drawn, rendering the space as comforting as a forest nook where sunlight filtered through the branches above. Dr. Herzenberg even had a small fountain on one side table and the faint sound of running water complemented the illusion. Robert could feel his tension recede, despite his natural wariness and dark mood.
Still, she said nothing. Robert felt her watching him and found he couldn’t meet her gaze directly. Rather, his eyes roved over their environment, never settling for more than a few seconds. Behind and beside her was a narrow bookcase with glass panels and something about it bothered him. He kept returning to it, until he realized why. On the very top of the bookcase was an old-fashioned globe and a statue that looked like a very realistic black cat. It could have been PJ. He stared at the cat, and almost jumped out of his seat when the statue blinked.
“God, that’s a cat!” he said.
Dr. Herzenberg smiled. “That’s Bella.”
“Wow,” Robert said. “I thought she was a statue.”
“She likes to sit up there,” Dr. Herzenberg said. “Many of my patients don’t ever notice her.”
“I’m amazed. You bring your cat with you to the office?”
Dr. Herzenberg shrugged. “She doesn’t like to be alone.”
“You could get her a companion.”
“She doesn’t like other cats.”
Robert chuckled. “Typical difficult feline.”
“Tell me,” Dr. Herzenberg said. “Are you a cat person?”
He remembered his sister, and the fact he’d never see her again. His eyes burned, though he willed himself not to tear up.
“You could say that,” he said.
PJ had turned into a cat every night since shortly after she had hit puberty. He still remembered the first time she’d shapeshifted. He was a rookie cop at the time and looking after her since their parents had died, as her much older brother and legal guardian. They’d been playing video games on the couch when she howled and writhed in pain. He had thought she was dying and called 911.
Imagine his chagrin when they arrived and found no sign of the girl that he’d insisted needed an ambulance. Instead, a black tabby cat watched him explain that he’d had a nightmare and called emergency services by mistake. His colleagues ribbed him for weeks afterward.
Robert was so traumatized, he confined PJ to her room after sundown from that time forward, and he somehow managed to convince himself her transition hadn’t happened. It was only recently, with his own daughter, Nancy, entering puberty, that he’d finally opened up to PJ about her wonderous ability. He had been terrified that Nancy would become a shapeshifter as well. Be the status of that as it may, at least one outcome had been that he had become significantly closer to PJ, a relationship long overdue.
His memories of PJ ran through his mind, and guilt stabbed his heart. If only he hadn’t been so pigheaded, he could have showed his love for her sooner. He could have had years of closeness instead of mere months. They could even, perhaps, have–
No. He wouldn’t let himself think about that. Regret was a demon that ate you alive. It was what it was. He couldn’t change the past any more than he could draw castles in the sky.
“What are you thinking about?” Dr. Herzenberg asked.
Robert blinked several times, his reverie broken. “Nothing,” he said.
She stared at him. His gaze dropped to the coffee table between them.
“I was thinking of my sister,” he said.
“Tell me about her.”
Robert took a deep breath and let it out slowly. He crossed his arms over his chest and studied the carpet under their feet, a confetti-patterned collage of woodland hues. He found himself telling Dr. Herzenberg the truth – something he hadn’t done in decades.
“She’s not actually my sister,” he said.
“Oh?” She raised a delicate eyebrow.
“Well, she wasn’t, I mean,” he said. “My father was her mother’s cousin.”
Dr. Herzenberg appeared lost in thought for a moment. “So, your ‘sister’ was actually your second cousin?”
“Yes,” Robert said.
“Why do you call her your sister?”
“Our parents married,” Robert said. “Legally, PJ was my sister.”
“I see,” she said.
Another wave of regret washed over Robert. He clasped his hands together and hung his head so she wouldn’t see the sheen of tears in his eyes.
“I did read your employment record,” Dr. Herzenberg said. “You’ve had quite the last couple of weeks.”
Robert snorted. “Yeah. You could say that.”
“You failed the bureau’s lie detector test, separated from your wife, shot and killed a man, and your sister – your second-cousin, I mean – died. I’d say all of that qualifies you for a little paid leave.”
Then there was the business with his daughter, which he couldn’t talk about, as well as the thing concerning his infidelity, which he likewise couldn’t bring himself to talk about. His shoulders drooped.
“I don’t want paid leave,” he said. “I want to get back to work. All I do is sit around and mope. If I can work, I’ll feel better.” He looked up, into her concerned face. “What can I do to convince you I’m fit for returning to work – that, in fact, it’ll help me recover?”
She tilted her head and scrutinized him. He fidgeted under the weight of those amazing green eyes.
“You can’t run from your grief, Robert. Turning your attention elsewhere will only cause it to fester and grow into something uncontrolled.”
He sighed. “I was afraid you’d say that.”
On top of the bookcase, the cat stood and stretched elegantly, her back a deeply curved S. She sat on her haunches and used her paw to clean her snout. Robert watched, fascinated.
“Tell me more about your sister,” Dr. Herzenberg said.
Another wave of regret reminded Robert of his failures, and, with it, a twinge of fear piqued his soul. He’d already said too much.
“You were close, I take it,” the psychiatrist said.
“Yeah,” Robert said.
Dr. Herzenberg waited. Robert looked around the room again, his gaze settling on the quarter-height of window, through which a gray fall sky was visible.
“What bothers you most about her death?” she asked.
Robert’s eyes lost their focus as his attention turned inward. Guilt weighed heavy in his heart as he remembered the past two weeks and his role in the whole mess.
“I never…” He couldn’t bring himself to say it.
Dr. Herzenberg perked up. “You never what?”
He stared at the cat, who stared back unblinkingly. The odd sense of unreality overtook him again and he found himself speaking the truth once more.
“I never told her how much I loved her,” he said.
“I’m sure she knew,” Dr. Herzenberg said.
Robert shook his head. “No. She didn’t.”
“What makes you think that?”
“I pushed her away. She wanted more from me. I should have given it to her.”
Dr. Herzenberg’s brow furrowed and her eyes darkened. “What are we talking about, Robert? You’ve told me she wasn’t your blood sister. How did you see her? As your little sister? Or, as something more than that?”
Robert ground his teeth. How did they get onto this topic? He was here to get back to work, not to get himself fired for inappropriate feelings toward PJ.
“I shouldn’t have said it that way,” he said. “Of course, I meant it platonically.”
She studied him. “You know that everything you tell me is confidential.”
He frowned. “I know you have to report what I say to my superiors,” he said.
“No,” she said. “I have to report my overall opinions. Your disclosures are entirely between us alone.”
Robert stared up at Bella, whose golden gaze had never seemed to leave him. He was pretty sure the cat saw right through him, and he wondered how much of that ability Dr. Herzenberg had.
He said nothing.
Excerpt from Road To Nowhere by Cy Wyss. Copyright 2019 by Cy Wyss. Reproduced with permission from Cy Wyss. All rights reserved.


Cy Wyss is a writer based in Indianapolis, Indiana. They have a Ph.D. in computer science and their day job involves wrangling and analyzing genetic data. Cy is the author of three full-length novels as well as a collection of short stories and the owner and chief editor of Nighttime Dog Press, LLC.

Before studying computer science, Cy obtained their undergraduate degree in mathematics and English literature as well as masters-level degrees in philosophy and artificial intelligence. They studied overseas for three years in the UK, although they never managed to develop a British accent.

Cy currently resides in Indianapolis with their spouse, daughter, and two obstreperous but lovable felines. In addition to writing, they enjoy reading, cooking, and walking 5k races to benefit charity.

Connect with Cy:
  |  Goodreads  |  BookBub  |  Twitter  |  Facebook

Buy the book:


Monday, September 23, 2019



Corrie Locke, newbie lawyer and daughter of a late, great PI, is learning the ropes at the Hollywood movie studio where she works—and where things are never what they seem. Life imitates art when a fictional murder attempt turns real—right before her eyes. With more than a little help from friends and a crazy movie legend, Corrie trips down a trail littered with wisecracks, mysterious messages, and marginally legal maneuvers to track down the killer. Meanwhile, clues keep disappearing and Corrie makes an enemy whose deadly tactics keep escalating. Will her impromptu sleuthing skills be enough to catch the mysterious assailant before he takes her down?

Book Details:

Title: Murder: Double or Nothing 

 Author: Lida Sideris

Genre: mystery

Series: Southern California Mystery series, book 3

Publisher: Level Best Books (July 23, 2019)

Print length: 298 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours



Q: If you could live in any time period which would it be? 

A: Circa 1940, in Hollywood, working at the movie studio where I used to work . . . and where my heroine currently works, when she’s not chasing bad guys, that is. The studio would be MGM in the days of Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn and all the legendary stars. I’d love to experience movie life in the golden years. When I worked at the studio, I only viewed those years through the photos on the walls of the older buildings.

Q: If you could be anything besides a writer, what would it be? 

A: A baker. Cookies and pastries would be my specialty. Every tooth in my mouth is a sweet tooth.

Q: If you had to do community service, what would you choose?
A: That’s easy—I enjoy volunteer work at the public library and with rescue dogs. I like offering free legal help where I can. But one volunteer position I’ve not yet tackled, but plan to, is child advocacy for foster children - to make sure they’re treated well. 

Q: If you could choose a fictional town to live in what would it be and from what book? 

A: I’d try the Emerald City from The Wizard of Oz. Wasn’t it supposed to be a beautiful, happy and magical place? I could put up with a wicked witch or two.  

Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?

A: Exactly where I am in the northern tip of Southern California. I’m close to Los Angeles, but not too close. The Pacific Ocean’s not far off and the mountain ranges are magnificent. 


5 things you need in order to write:
    •    my laptop, 
my notebook (filled with dialogue possibilities, chapter notes and character descriptions)
    •    a book from one of my favorite authors
    •    a mini notebook (to write notes to self)
    •    a good attitude!

5 things you love about writing:
    •    the way I feel when I hit THE END (hooray!)
    •    the fun of unexpected adventures
    •    characters who surprise me
    •    characters who do the right thing
    •    when research invites ideas I never would have figured out on my own

5 things you love about where you live: 

    •    small town
    •    starry nights
    •    no chain stores
    •    farms
    •    friendly people

5 words to describe you:

    •    persistent
    •    responsible
    •    positive 

    •    committed 

    •    loyal

5 things you always put in your books:
    •    chase scenes animals
    •    strong women
    •    Southern California
    •    locations
    •    fun


Q: What’s your all-time favorite place? 

A: Home, wherever that may be.

Q: What’s your all-time favorite movie?
A: Pride and Prejudice, the 1940 MGM, Greer Garson/Laurence Olivier version.

Q: What’s your all-time favorite library? 

A: Boston Public Library – I love the Abbey Mural Room!

Q: What’s the most beautiful sound you’ve heard?
A: Children’s laughter.

Q: What’s your all-time favorite picture of yourself?
A: That’s me doing research for book #2: Murder Gone Missing. I learned a lot that day from my new friend!

Q: What’s your favorite time of day?
A: Sunrise.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do when there’s nothing to do?  

A: Read a book, of course!

Q: What’s your favorite quote? 

A: “Always do right; this will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” —Mark Twain

Q: What’s your favorite color? 

A: Red.

Q: What is the wallpaper on your computer’s desktop? 

A: My two children.

Q: What movie genre do you prefer: 

A: Comedy.

Q: What do you collect?

A: Positive quotes.

Q: What smells remind you of your childhood? 

A: Briny ocean air, cinnamon, fresh baked bread.

Q: What author would you most like to review one of your books? 

A: Janet Evanovich.

Q: What book are you currently working on? 

A: Slightly Murderous Intent, #4 in my Southern California Mystery series.

Q: What’s your latest recommendation for:
  • Food: Whole wheat ‘n honey pancakes with Olallieberry topping from Linn’s in Cambria, California (the gluten free version is also delicious).
  • Music: “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning!” from the Broadway classic show tunes soundtrack.
  • Movie: Queen of Katwe.
  • Book: Staging is Murder by Grace Topping.
  • Audiobook: I’m about to listen to The Eighty Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse that Inspired A Nation.
  • TV: Doctor Who. 
  • Netflix/Amazon Prime: Almost any Hallmark movie (I’m in the midst of bingewatching!).
  • Miscellaneous: If you’re looking for a loyal canine friend, please consider a rescue dog.


The Southern California Mystery series:

#1 - Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters

#2 – Murder Gone Missing

#3 – Murder: Double Or Nothing

Picture book for ages 4-8:

The Cookie Eating Fire Dog, (about a naughty Dalmatian who prefers eating cookies to helping the fire fighters)


Like her heroine, Corrie Locke, Lida Sideris worked as an entertainment attorney for a film studio. Unlike her heroine, she doesn't investigate possible homicides on the side. Lida resides in the northern tip of Southern California with her family, their rescue shepherds, and a flock of uppity chickens. She was one of two national recipients of the Helen McCloy/Mystery Writers of America scholarship for mystery writing.

Connect with Lida:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter Instagram

Buy the book:


Saturday, September 21, 2019



Ruth Mosby is the VP of operations at Serenity Acres, where the privileged elite go to die. For a hefty fee, wealthy retirees can live the good life in this posh Santa Barbara community—even after they outlive their money. Ruth thinks this is a fine arrangement, but the savvy new boss has a new rule: if you can’t pay, you can’t stay.

Ruth is deeply disturbed when destitute residents start dying at an alarming rate, as if on cue. Even more troubling, a macabre note accompanies each departed guest. Surviving guests whisper about an “Angel” who assists with suicides. Ruth has another word for it: murder.

Ruth enlists her neighbor, an ex-detective named Zach, to discover the Angel’s secret identity. However, the two have a painful history, and Ruth has dark secrets all her own. To solve the mystery, Ruth must descend from her golden tower—but can she bear the consequences of revealing her own sinister truths?

Book Details:

Title: What She Never Said

Author: Catharine Riggs

Genre: psychological suspense

Series: Santa Barbara Suspense

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
 (September 10, 2019

Print length: 343 pages

On tour with: Partners in Crime Book Tours


A few of your favorite things: books, books and more books.
Things you need to throw out: size 6 jeans that haven’t fit in a decade.

Things you need in order to write: my writing computer which is banned from the internet.
Things that hamper your writing: excessive noise & social media.

Things you love about writing: my characters’ voices.
Things you hate about writing: the business of writing.

Easiest thing about being a writer: crafting new worlds.

Hardest thing about being a writer: isolation.

Things you love about where you live: beauty, peace & quiet. 
Things that make you want to move: the need for more social interaction.

Things you never want to run out of: toothpaste & toilet paper.
Things you wish you’d never bought: the candy hidden in my closet.

Words that describe you: motivated, perceptive, caring.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: anxious, pessimistic, judgmental.

Favorite foods: great sushi.
Things that make you want to throw up: mayonnaise.

Favorite music or song: indie folk.
Music that make your ears bleed: jazz.

Favorite beverage: iced tea & a good chardonnay.
Something that gives you a pickle face: whisky & dark beer.

Favorite smell: freshly mown grass. 

Something that makes you hold your nose: fragrant laundry detergent.

Something you’re really good at: writing.
Something you’re really bad at: writing.

Something you wish you could do: fly.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: self-deprecate.

People you consider as heroes: underpaid nonprofit employees who are working to make a difference.

People with a big L on their foreheads: corporate hucksters. 

Last best thing you ate: Oreo cream cheese pie.

Last thing you regret eating: Oreo cream cheese pie.

Things you’d walk a mile for: a good concert or play.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: jazz.

Things you always put in your books: complicated characters.

Things you never put in your books: graphic violence.

Things to say to an author: I loved your book!

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: I only read male authors.

Favorite books: well-written fiction of any genre.

Books you would ban: Fahrenheit 451.

People you’d like to invite to dinner (living): Sandra Cisneros, Alice Walker, Margaret Atwood, Louise Erdrich, Gillian Flynn, Brandy Carlile, Megan Rapinoe, Misty Copeland. 

People you’d cancel dinner on: Certain extended family members.

Favorite things to do: hiking, running, walking.

Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: interview before a TV camera.

Things that make you happy: people who show compassion and concern for those less fortunate.

Things that drive you crazy: politics.

Most embarrassing moment: 14, trying to impress a boy and falling into a Jacuzzi, fully clothed.   
Proudest moment: The day I realized my daughters had developed into strong, caring, and independent women.

Best thing you’ve ever done: raised two incredible daughters.

Biggest mistake: take said daughters on a packhorse trip into the Sierra, underprepared.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: writing my first (never-to-be-published) novel.

Something you chickened out from doing: quitting my job to write full time.

The last thing you did for the first time: zipline in Hanalei, Kauai.

Something you’ll never do again: river raft anything greater than stage 3 rapids.




Monday, May 6

My goal each day is ten thousand steps. A Fitbit monitors my progress. One. Two. Three. Four. This morning I’ll reach six thousand steps. Only four thousand left after that. It’s nice the days have grown longer. I’ll walk the harbor loop after work. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. I speed up the slope of Orpet Park through the grove of moth-eaten oaks.
At the summit of the steepest hill, I catch a peek of ocean gray. The islands are invisible today, shrouded in waves of lowering fog. June gloom. That’s what the locals call it, although we’ve barely stepped into May. Locals? I am a local. Or should be after thirty-some years. But oh no. Not in Santa Barbara. You can’t be a local unless you’re born here. Ridiculous but true. Sometimes I wonder why I stay. But at my age, where would I go?
Cresting the final hill, I catch my first glimpse of the mission bells. They’re a sad reminder of my walks with Carlyn and the chats we had every day. She thought the Queen of the Missions was a sign of God’s blessing on our tony beachside town. I wonder what she thinks of God now. I wonder what she thinks of me.
I continue past the mission lawn, verging on parched and dry. The agaves look weathered and dusty; they’re wilted at the tips. A handful of elderly tourists snap photos of the iconic scene. Their foreign chatter disrupts the calm, so I cross the street to the rose garden and follow the rutted trail. A lone dog shoots into view, and I slow my rapid gait. The golden Lab jumps, twists, and barks, nabbing a Frisbee in his mouth.
“Morning,” his master calls to me, a smile gracing his youthful face.
“Morning.” I lock my gaze on my running shoes. How did he miss the DOGS ON LEASH signs staggered every twenty feet? Or maybe he didn’t but somehow believes he’s above the city’s rules. I make a mental note to call animal control and continue on my way.
I pick up my pace for the final ten blocks, feeling better than I have in weeks. Turning down my narrow driveway, I cringe at the sight of my neighbor standing on his porch.
“Morning, Ruth,” he calls.
“Morning, Zach.”
Zach limps down his steps and through his drought-stricken garden, a frown rumpling his grizzled face. He’s dressed in board shorts and a tattered T-shirt, mended flip-flops shielding his feet. “You hear those kids partying last night?” he asks.
“No,” I lie. “Was it loud?”
“Hell yeah. I can’t believe they allow short-term rentals in our neighborhood. We’ve got to put a stop to that.”
“Well, kids will be kids.” I fail to mention I called the police at ten sharp. That’s when the noise ordinance kicks in.
“I’m going to complain at today’s city council meeting. Want to come along?” The breeze shifts, and I catch a whiff of spoiled milk. Zach has taken to strategic bathing, which results in an occasional stench.
“I would, but I have to work.”
“Bummer. There’s a better chance if we complain together.”
I nod, thinking he’d have a better chance if he made an effort to clean himself up. When we moved into the neighborhood decades ago, Zach had been a handsome man with an easy smile and a mop of thick black hair. A homicide detective whose pretty wife, Tina, taught art at the nearby elementary school. The perfect neighbors on a perfect street of tiny Craftsman homes. Then their son died in a tragic accident, and Tina passed soon after that. A broken man, Zach took early retirement and nearly drank himself to death. He’s in recovery now and has replaced the booze with an obsession for neighborhood affairs. “What about my petition?” he asks. “You plan on signing that?”
I bite my lower lip. “I’m not sure.”
“Construction begins next week.”
“I wish I could, but . . .”
Mumbling under his breath, he eyes me with a frown. He’s also taken to talking to himself. Is dementia creeping up? “But what?” he asks.
“I don’t think it’s wise for someone in my position to take a political stance.”
“Your position?” He rolls his eyes. “You work at an old folks’ home.”
“I work in a life-care community.”
“Same thing.”
“No, it’s not.”
His frown deepens into a crevasse. “So, you’re okay with those homes coming down?” He nods at the four vacant bungalows located directly across the street. They’re slated for demolition, to be replaced by a ten-thousand-square-foot mansion with an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Our future neighbors are a flashy young couple with toddler twins and an army of well-groomed staff. Seems our former middle-class neighborhood is attracting the fashionable Hollywood types.
“I’m not okay with it,” I say, “but what can we do? The planning commission has made their decision. We’re not going to change their minds.”
“But if we don’t take action, it won’t be long before people like us can’t live in this town.”
“At least we’ll make a mint when we sell.”
“You’re not thinking of moving, are you?”
“Of course not.” Although I might if the price is right.
Zach sniffs and takes a swipe at his nose. “I just wish we could stop these assholes. They even complained about my new picket fence.”
I hold my voice steady. “They did?” Last month, Zach replaced his aging fence with a synthetic version that lists from side to side.
“Hell yes. City says my fence is four inches too tall, and I’ve got one month to replace the thing.
Where the hell am I going to get that kind of money? My pension only goes so far.” He searches my face with his electric-blue eyes. They’re the only part of him that haven’t aged.
“That’s terrible,” I say, dropping my gaze and backpedaling down the driveway. “Got to get to work. Have a nice day.” I hurry through the gate, swimming through waves of guilt. What if Zach finds out I turned him in? He’ll be angrier than a cornered wasp. But by the time I step out of the shower, I’ve pushed away all my self-doubt. Is it my fault his fence is too tall? For God’s sake, rules are rules.
Excerpt from What She Never Said by Catharine Riggs. Copyright © 2019 by Catharine Riggs. Reproduced with permission from Catharine Riggs. All rights reserved.


Catharine Riggs lives and writes on California’s central coast. Before her dive into thrillers, Riggs worked as a business banker, adjunct college instructor, and a nonprofit executive. What She Never Said is the second novel in her loosely linked Santa Barbara Suspense series. The first, What She Gave Away, was published by Thomas & Mercer in September of 2018.

Connect with Catharine:
Website  |  Blog  |  Twitter  |   Goodreads  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Thursday, September 19, 2019


It's finally here! Release day for the fifth book in the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. It's been three years since the last GPJ book was released, but the wait is over. And now . . . a little self-promotion . . .


It's election season, and there's a new candidate in town. Virgil Pepper is determined to take the job from Goose Pimple Junction's long-time mayor. Virgil is a charming and charismatic candidate but someone who will say anything (and mean none of it) to get what he wants. Three things top his list: to become mayor, to acquire Jackson Wright's land, and to make Caledonia Culpepper one of his many conquests.

Wynona Baxter is back, and she's a new woman. Now Daisy has a new identity, new life, and new business-ironically named Killer Cupcakes. But the town soon finds out that isn't the only kind of killer in town. Book five of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series combines political hijinks, delicious cupcakes, Goose Juice moonshine, the ups and downs of finding true love, and, of course, murder.

It is said that "It's a basic truth of the human condition that everybody lies. The only variable is about what." Lying in politics, lying for personal and professional gain, lying about an identity . . . What are the folks of Goose Pimple Junction willing to lie for . . . and what are they willing to die for?

Book Details:

Title: Liars & Lunatics in Goose Pimple Junction

Author’s name: Amy Metz

Genre: cozy mystery

Series: Goose Pimple Junction Mysteries, book 5

Publisher: Southern Ink Press, (September 19, 2019)

Print length: 244 pages


Things you love about writing: I love being able to say and do things I’d never do in real life. I also love killing off my real-life bad guys, even if it’s only fictionally.
Things you hate about writing: marketing, the fifth round of editing.

Easiest thing about being a writer: setting my own schedule and deadlines.

Hardest thing about being a writer: the middle of the book. I don’t have a problem coming up with a beginning and an ending. It’s the middle that gives me fits.

Words that describe you: mom, introvert, writer, photographer, baker.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: introvert, empty-nester, unlucky in love.

Favorite foods: pizza, steak, salad, fried green tomatoes, pie, lemon cake, cheesecake, donuts.
Things that make you want to throw up: canned asparagus, liver.

Favorite beverage: sweet tea with lemon.

Something that gives you a pickle face: beer.

Favorite smell: honeysuckle.

Something that makes you hold your nose: salt-rising bread in the oven or toaster.

Something you’re really good at: baking.

Something you’re really bad at: math.

Something you like to do: bake.

Something you wish you’d never done: date that one guy.

Things you always put in your books: the name “Lou” in some form, as a nod to my hometown; murder; romance; humor.

Things you never put in your books: graphic violence or sex.

Things to say to an author: “I loved your book and left a review on Amazon.”

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: “I read your book . . .” (and then crickets).

Favorite places you’ve been: Stockbridge, Massachusetts (actually most anywhere in Massachusetts); Kennebunkport, Maine (actually most anywhere in Maine); Asheville, North Carolina; Point Clear, Alabama.

Places you never want to go to again: Alabama in the summertime.

Things that make you happy: my family, the moon, big trees, flowers, fall, donuts.

Things that drive you crazy: rude or mean people; people who cut you off in traffic; people who lie; when cable or internet goes out.

Best thing you’ve ever done:
my two sons.

Biggest mistake: dating that one guy.

Favorite things to do:
spend time with my family; attend my son’s concerts; bake; take photographs; look at the moon; travel.

Something you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: public speaking.


Amy Metz is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. She is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two grown sons. When not writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Pinterest and Facebook, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy loves unique Southern phrases, cupcakes, and a good mystery. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

Connect with Amy:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

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Wednesday, September 18, 2019



Just married! It's time for . . . a murder?

When checking into the posh Myriad Hotel on their honeymoon, Hector and Pamela Jackson discover a dead body! All the couple wants to do, though, is keep out of the commotion and enjoy some well-earned rest.

But another person dies, and they happen to appear at the crime scene. When a third person falls right in front of them, the police begin to wonder why.

Who's responsible for the murders? Why are they happening? Are the couple under suspicion? Where does the little stray dog hanging around the hotel entrance come from? And when are Hector and Pamela finally going to have a proper honeymoon?

All these questions are answered in this first of The Myriad Mysteries—a clean, mild murder mystery set in a fictional hotel in 1920's Chicago.

Book Details:

Title: Ring-A-Ding Dead!

Author: Claire Logan

Genre: cozy mystery

Series: Myriad Mysteries, book 1

Publisher: Self-published (May 29, 2019)

Print length: 244 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours


About the Character

Name: Mrs. Pamela Jackson (at least, that's what she tells everyone . . . )
Race: Today, she would be called mixed. She's described as having light brown skin.
Age: 28
Height: 5'6"
Weight: 120
Build: Slender and curvy
Hair color: At present, her hair is black.
Hair style: Bobbed, very curly
Eye color: Deep blue
Relationship status: Just married!

Name of romantic partner: Mr. Hector Jackson (well, that's what he tells everyone . . . )

Distinguishing features: At the moment, has a sling on her right arm from a recent surgery.

Neat or messy dresser? Messy.

What is her personal style: Fashionable. Likes loose clothing.
Does she have any speak with an accent? Yes, but no one in the story can really pin it down.

Is this a main character or supporting character? One of two main characters.


Is she optimistic or pessimistic? Tends to be pessimistic.

Is she an introvert or extrovert? Extrovert.

Does she have any bad habits? Smokes.

What is her strongest character trait? Single-minded: will not give up once she gets the idea to do something.

What is her weakest character trait? Is slow to trust people.

What sense does she most rely on? Vision
What quality does she most value in a friend? Honesty
What is her pet peeve? People who are overly dramatic.

What is her idiosyncrasies? Logical thinker. Likes to write things down. Goes on walks a lot.

What is her greatest achievement? Getting out of the town she grew up in.

What is her ambitions? She wants to travel the world.

What is her favorite food? Mashed potatoes.

Is she serious or laid back? Serious.

How does she feel about herself? Negatively. She's had a lot of losses which she hasn't gotten over yet.

Is there any aspect of herself that she is blind to? She can be unreasonably stubborn.

Does she make a positive or negative first impression? Does that impression hold up? Usually positive, but it doesn't always hold up.
Who does her family consist of? Right now, her and her husband.

Does she have any pets? She acquires one during the first book!

Has she ever had her heart broken? Yes. More than once.


How does she respond to a threat? Immediately reacts.
Is she most likely to fight with their fists or their tongue? Words, although she's quite capable with weapons . . .
What is her choice of weapon? A gun.
Does she have a secret? Quite a few, actually.
Is she confrontational? Yes.
Does she carry a weapon? She used to, but doesn't anymore.

Work, Education and Hobbies

What is her current job? Currently not employed.
What are her hobbies? Loves reading!
What is her intelligence level? Fairly intelligent.
Does she have any special training? She used to be a professional private investigator.
Does she have a natural talent for something? Shooting.


Is she comfortable with technology? It's all new to her.
What is her greatest regret? Her former marriage. She's a widow and regrets not being better to her former husband.
What is her idea of perfect happiness? Forgetting the past entirely.

Please see the interview with Pamela's husband, Hector Jackson, here.


Claire Logan has loved reading since she can remember! She loves puzzles and mysteries and intrigue and of all the cities she’s been to, Chicago is her favorite. Her four years living in Chicago during grad school were wonderful. Plus she loves history. And wasn't the 1920's wild? She’s always wanted to write a series set in Chicago and now here's her chance.

Connect with Claire:
Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  BookBub

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Tuesday, September 17, 2019



Librarian Carrie Singleton is building a haven, but one of her neighbors is misbehavin’. Can resident spirit Evelyn help Carrie catch the culprit who made her a ghost?

In winter, the Haunted Library is a refuge for homeless townspeople. When a group purchases a vacant house to establish a daytime haven for the homeless, Carrie offers the library as a meeting place for the Haven House committee, but quickly learns that it may be used for illegal activities.

As the new Sunshine Delegate, Carrie heads to the hospital to visit her cantankerous colleague, Dorothy, who had fallen outside the local supermarket. She tells Carrie that her husband tried to kill her–and that he murdered her Aunt Evelyn, the library’s resident ghost, six years earlier.

And then Dorothy is murdered–run off the road as soon as she returns to work. Evelyn implores Carrie to find her niece’s killer, but that’s no easy task: Dorothy had made a hobby of blackmailing her neighbors and colleagues. Carrie, Evelyn, and Smoky Joe the cat are on the case, but are the library cards stacked against them?

Book Details

Title: Buried in the Stacks

Author: written as Allison Brook

Genre: cozy mystery

Series: Haunted Library mystery series, book 3

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (September 10, 2019)

Print length: 311 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours



Q: If you could step back into a moment or day in time, where would you go?
A: I'd love to step back into time when World War II was over and everyone thought that there would be no more wars after that.

Q: If you could time travel for an infinite period of time, where would you go?
A: I would love to travel to Paris and live there for several months during the 1920's when Hemingway, Fitzgerald and many great writers and artists lived there.

Q:  If you could be anything besides a writer, what would it be?
A: I'd like to be a psychologist.

Q: If you had to do community service, what would you choose?
A: I would work in an animal shelter and help take care of the dogs and cats.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?
A: I would love to have a villa on the Cote d'Azur, where I'd spend my summers. The rest of the year I'd live in a penthouse of a luxury Manhattan building and spend occasional weekends in the Hamptons and other places.


5 things you love about writing

    •    I get to create a world full of characters, events, and places
    •    I'm able to create something that is mine and mine alone
    •    I get a wonderful sense of accomplishment after a few hours of writing
    •    I love hearing from readers, that they enjoyed my last book and can't wait to read the next one
    •    I've made wonderful writing friends, both authors and readers.

5 things you love about where you live:
    •    I have wonderful friends nearby
    •    I live in a gated community and feel safe
    •    I can go for a walk in a beautiful environment
    •    I live but a train ride away from Manhattan
    •    Both the Atlantic Ocean and the Long Island Sound are close
5 things you never want to run out of:
    •    books to read
    •    crossword puzzles
    •    Sudoku puzzles
    •    books to write
    •    knitting projects

5 words to describe you:
    •    interesting
    •    enthusiastic
    •    caring
    •    friendly
    •    helpful

5 things you always put in your books:
    •    three-dimensional characters and their relationships with one another
    •    secrets—almost every character has one
    •    a pet—usually a cat
    •    a best friend
    •    a romantic interest

5 favorite books:
    •    A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
    •    The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
    •    Agatha Christie's mysteries
    •    Novels by Elizabeth Jane Howard
    •    Novels by Mary Wesley

5 favorite things to do:
    •    write fiction
    •    read fiction
    •    travel
    •    talk to friends
    •    dine out


Q: What’s your all-time favorite memory?
A: Summers in my country home in Connecticut.

Q: What’s your all-time favorite movie?
A: Two For the Road.

Q: What’s your all-time favorite city?
A: Manhattan (a borough, I know, but considered a city).

Q: What’s the loveliest sight you’ve ever seen?
A: The sun setting at 11:23 during White Nights in St Petersburg.

Q: What’s the most beautiful sound you’ve heard?
A: My grandchildren greeting me on FaceTime

Q: What’s your favorite vacation spot?
A: Road trips through England.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Honeyed nuts, potato chips.

Q: What’s your favorite dessert?
A: Pecan pie.

Q: What’s your favorite beverage?
A: Good white wine.

Q: What’s your favorite ice cream?
A: Chocolate and pistachio.

Q: What’s your favorite hobby or past-time?
A: Watching English mysteries.

Q: What’s your favorite social media site?
A: Facebook

What’s one thing you never leave the house without?
A: My pocketbook, which holds my wallet, car key, house key, lipstick, comb, and cellphone.

What is the wallpaper on your computer’s desktop?
A: A photo of my grandkids

What movie genre do you prefer?
A: Drama—murder mysteries.

Q: What do you collect?
A: Photos of cats and dogs on Pinterest.

Q: What book are you currently working on?
A: I'm editing the fourth book in my Haunted Library mystery series

Q: What’s your latest recommendation for: (It would be awesome if you answered all of these!)
Food:  Indian food shrimp or chicken tikka marsala.
Music: classical—my faves are Beethoven, Chopin, and Bach.
Movie: The Upside.
Book:  Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb.
Audiobook: any mystery by a favorite author.
TV: Grantchester.
Netflix/Amazon Prime: Silent Witness.
Miscellaneous: dining outdoors near water.

Q: What books do you currently have published?
A: All are available on my Amazon page.


A former Spanish teacher, Marilyn Levinson writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and novels for kids. Her books have received many accolades. As Allison Brook she writes the Haunted Library mystery series. Death Overdue, the first in the series, was an Agatha nominee for Best Contemporary Novel last year. Other mysteries include the Golden Age of Mystery Book Club series and the Twin Lakes series. Among her YAs and books for kids are: Getting Back To Normal, And Don’t Bring Jeremy, which was a nominee for six state awards, and Rufus And Magic Run Amok, an International Reading Association-Children’s Book Council “Children’s Choice." Many of Marilyn’s books take place on Long Island, where she lives.

Connect with Allison:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  Pinterest

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  IndieBound

Sunday, September 15, 2019



Driving down a rocky road I saw the overgrown grass, weeds, and poison ivy overtaking the outer perimeter of the bushes. The smell of mildew permeated the air, along with the stench of animals killed by cars coming up from the ground along this dirt road. I could see the sadness on the faces in the cars behind me; I could feel the pain and sorrow. As I looked inside the cars and saw the faces of the drivers, I began to wonder what they were thinking, their thoughts and feelings as they traveled down life’s highway, maybe for the very last time.

What stories lay behind the faces behind the wheel of each oncoming car?

What stories were hidden?

Whose voices are now silenced?

Book Details:

Title: Silent Voices

Author: Fran Lewis

Genre: horror, suspense

Series: Silent Voices

Publisher: Southern Owl Publications, LLC (June 10th 2019)

Print length: 51 pages

On tour with: Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours


A few of your favorite things: reading interesting novels, doing my interviews, walking in the morning to my favorite bakery.
Things you need to throw out: old shoes and old coats.

Things you need in order to write: my thoughts, my computer, my notepad on my phone.
Things that hamper your writing: annoying phone calls and writer’s block.

Things you love about writing: I get to write whatever I want and express my thoughts in my own way.
Things you hate about writing: editing and correcting mistakes.

Hardest thing about being a writer: writing and hoping to attract many different types of audiences.
Easiest thing about being a writer: choosing my titles and genres.

Things you love about where you live: the quiet, the people and the local stores within walking distance.
Things that make you want to move: not anymore.

Things you never want to run out of: coffee pods, paper, ink for my computer, paper cups and smiles.
Things you wish you’d never bought: some of my shoes and jackets.

Words that describe you: intelligent, humorous, headstrong, tough, perceptive, and kind.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: hard to handle, confrontational at times, inquisitive.

Favorite foods: pizza and tuna.
Things that make you want to throw up: foods with too much sugar or salt.

Favorite music or song: classical and opera.
Music that make your ears bleed: Rap and HIP HOP.

Favorite beverage:
black coffee.
Something that gives you a pickle face: spicy foods.

Favorite smell: fresh air.
Something that makes you hold your nose: perfume that makes you want to walk down the stairs because it is so strong.

Something you’re really good at: book reviews, interviews on my radio shows, helping my nieces and nephews understand their projects for school and solving problems and getting answers to my questions no matter what.
Something you’re really bad at: hearing the word NO.

Something you wish you could do: have a magic wand and bring back the people that I miss everyday.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: play tennis in college.

Something you like to do: visit more museums.
Something you wish you’d never done: gone to Florida with college friends.

People you consider as heroes: my dad who made me strong and my grandfather who taught ethics and morals.
People with a big L on their foreheads: people that critique others just for the fun of hurting their feelings because their self-esteem is low. People that are constantly negative.

Last best thing you ate: one slice of pizza.
Last thing you regret eating: salty tuna.

Things you’d walk a mile for: a great sale at my favorite store, finding the right nondairy cupcake, my family.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: phone calls that ask for money, surveys on the phone and people that just always want something and never do anything in return.
Things to say to an author:
write what you know about, stay true to who you are and do not write a book with a small font or that is too long. As a reviewer I  cannot review books where I need a magnifying glass to see the print or the plot is overdone.
Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: I would love to be an evil twin to your main character in your next book and hopefully be brought back many times.,

Favorite places you’ve been: San Diego, Florida, several states.
Places you never want to go to again: Staten Island.

Favorite books:
fiction, non-fiction, historical fiction, memoirs, general fiction, romance, historical romance.
Books you would ban: erotica.

People you’d like to invite to dinner (living): Iris Johansen, Charles Dickens, James Patterson.
People you’d cancel dinner on: negative people.

Favorite things to do: read, walk, jog, go to museums, parks, and the Bronx  Zoo.
Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: the dentist, the laundry, cooking.

Things that make you happy: when my nephews and nieces text me every few days to say hi or call to say they miss and love me when am I going to visit.
Things that drive you crazy: when someone calls for money.

Most embarrassing moment: learning to drive when I was 16 and driving towards a cute guy.
Proudest moment: when I got my masters and PD.

Biggest lie you’ve ever told: I never tell my age I usually pick a number from 19-29 and choose a different one every day.
A lie you wish you’d told: When I weighed 200 pounds and was about to go on a blind date I told him I weighed 100, but now I do weight 107.

Best thing you’ve ever done: spending my years as an educator, dean, staff developer and helping my students succeed in life. They are on Facebook and remind me all the time of the positive impact I had on their lives.
Biggest mistake: never really feeling comfortable behind the wheel of a car and not driving anymore.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: taking a camel ride and walking for March of Dimes.
Something you chickened out from doing: motorboating and kayaking.

The last thing you did for the first time: buying distance glasses one pair for each day of the week and getting my colorful highlights in my hair: Red, blue, green, purple and more.
Something you’ll never do again: go back to black hair. I am a blonde


Fran Lewis taught for 36 years in a New York Public School as a dean, staff developer and reading specialist. She loved helping children with learning disabilities soar and rise to the top. Fran loves music and majored in music when she attended Hunter College and was a concert violist. Fran has a master’s in reading and learning disabilities , education, Administration and supervision and a PD in Administration and supervision. Fran enjoys doing book reviews, interviews on her network MJ network on Blog Talk radio and she is currently writing her next Faces Behind the Stones book. Title to be decided.

Connect with Fran:
Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Buy the book: