Posted in Freebies and Special Offers

My Medical Mystery, MEMORY MAKERS, is on Sale Through September 27

mybook.to/memorymakers

Twenty-five years ago, Lauren Phelps and her sister Patty were kidnapped from their backyard on Long Island. Lauren escaped her captor, but Patty was killed.

Ever since, Lauren has suffered from nightmares of the “Shadow Man.” Trying to recall his face and avenge her sister’s murder, Lauren, now a kidnapping investigator, enrolls in a clinical trial for a new memory drug.

At the offices of Memory Makers in California, she receives the injections of the Memory Makers’ serum, and begins to experience flashbacks of repressed memories. Along with the flashbacks, she receives threats from an anonymous source that point back to her childhood trauma.

Soon, Lauren becomes involved with a fellow trial participant who seeks to recall his own traumatic past. But can Lauren discover the identity of the “Shadow Man” before history repeats itself?

What reviewers are saying:

*****I was enthralled with the way the story unfolded and the past was finally revealed along with the identity of the killer. But who will walk away from the final showdown? I’ll leave you to read that for yourselves, all I’ll say is that it’s a great read from start to finish, and gets 5 stars from me.

*****This book is one I found very difficult to put down. It just kind of enveloped me and then sucked me into the world of Lauren, her family and friends and subsequently her enemies. I found myself totally mesmerized by the crime commited against her and her sister as a child and the way this horrible act had affected so many different peoples lives. 

*****I particularly liked that the idea of aiding dementia victims was the final goal. Loved the characters.

Posted in pets

Celebrating Rescue Pets on Remember Me Thursday

Remember Me Thursday falls on September 23. This is the day we honor rescue pets and encourage pet adoption. Two years ago, I posted the adoption story of my cats, Harry and Hermione, from  the Golden Paw Society Rescue. You can read it here. This year, I recommend Second-Chance Cats: True Stories of the Cats We Rescue and the Cats Who Rescue Us. Harry and Hermione’s story was published in this book along with that of other rescue cats. I also recently published Meows and Purrs: A Collection of Cat Poems, This book features photos and stories about all the cats I’ve had. One special poem, “Two Cats are Better Than One,” explains why adopting more than one pet is best.

Two Cats are Better Than One

Double the trouble,
double the fun.
Two cats are better than one.

When you look to adopt a kitten,
ask for a sibling or two.
It’s the best thing you can do.

You’ll never regret taking another.
They’ll grow up as friends and play together.

Don’t worry about the litter pans.
They’ll share one box of sand.

No cat food will go to waste.
Just pick up a case.

Make room on your bed and under the covers.
You’ll never be lonely with one or the other.

Double the charm,
double the love.
Two cats are better than one.

If you open your heart to two fur babies,
You’ll know it’s the best things you’ve done
because two cats are better than one.

To learn more about all my cats, told from their own points-of-view about their rescues, life with our family, and stories they’ve even “pawed” themselves, along with lots of photos, check out my book, Pet Posts: The Cat Chats. 

There are many ways to get involved this special day.

1. Post on social media using #SeeTheLight and #RememberMeThursday.

On September 23, let’s make sure everyone who opens their social media accounts sees a message about pet adoption! Encourage your fans to post by sharing your personal rescue story or one of our ready-made graphics. Here are a few to get you started! Check out our Blogger Resource page for more shareables, blogger badges, customizable photo frames and more.

2. Enter the #RememberMeThursday Contest.

You and your fans can win big for a favorite pet adoption organization by entering the #RememberMeThursday Contest! There are two ways to enter:

  • Submit your pet’s photo and story to our contest page.
  • Post a picture of your pet on social media using the hashtags #RememberMeThursday and #SeeTheLight.

Harry and Hermione’s story was entered in the contest. You can find it by going to the contest page, clicking “vote,” and scrolling through the pet photos until you find the one featuring them. https://remembermethursday.org/contest/

3. Join the Remember Me Thursday Virtual Global Candle Lighting Ceremony.

This event will unite animal rescue advocates from all over the world.
DATE: Thursday, September 23, 2020
TIME: 9 a.m. Pacific Time
WHERE: Virtually on Zoom

To participate, sign up here: https://remembermethursday.org/remember-me-thursday-events/

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers

My Time-Travel Novel, TIME’S RELATIVE, is on Sale Through September 21

http://mybook.to/timesrelative

It’s the fall of 1998, and librarian Samantha Stewart is looking for a new job. After seeing an ad for a high-paying position at a company called Virtual Software that entails research and travel, Sam investigates the company and learns that its president has gone missing, and that it’s currently being run by the vice-president Greg Parsons.

Before Sam makes it to the interview, she’s visited by a strange woman who introduces herself as Jane Oldsfield: a time traveler whose mission Greg Parsons is trying to prevent.

Sam ignores the woman and goes on the job interview anyway. Soon, she finds herself involved not only with Greg Parsons, but also Philip Montmart, a chain-smoking detective with a vendetta for his wife’s killer, and the time-traveling Oldsfield and her feline accomplice.

Witnessing world events that have yet to happen in her lifetime, including 9/11, Hurricane Sandy, Y2K hysteria and the COVID pandemic, can Samantha figure out Oldsfield’s plans?

Read what reviewers are saying:

*****Prepare yourself for a thrilling roller coaster ride of a story that will make you hold your breath as you flip the pages as fast as you can read them. Loved it!!

*****I loved the characters in this book.

Posted in Reviews

Review: The Lighthouse Witches by C. J. Cook

***** 5-stars

In 1998, Liv, a single mother of three daughters, takes on a project involving the painting of a mural in a lighthouse on an island in Scotland called Lon Haven. She soon learns of a local legend involving the killing of women accused of witchcraft and the wildlings that were rumored to take over the bodies of missing children and destroy their families.

Although Liv doesn’t initially believe these crazy stories, she begins to wonder about them when two of her daughters disappear, and one returns bearing the branded numbers that are said to differentiate a wildling from the real child. The story changes perspective from Liv to her daughter, Luna, twenty years later. Luna, now grown, is still searching for her sisters. When she is contacted with the news that her younger sister, Clover, has been found after all this time and is at a hospital, she rushes there expecting to see a woman close to her own age. Instead, she finds a young girl who seems to be Clover but hasn’t aged. How can this be? The book answers this question as it goes back and forth in time.

I found the explanation an interesting twist. My only criticism of this absorbing book was that it sometimes was difficult to keep the characters and time periods clear. Other than that, I found the writing compelling with realistic characters. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys supernatural novels that take place in different time periods.

This review was from the NetGalley ARC. The book will be released on October 5, 2021.

Posted in author news

September Author News: Bookstore Grand Opening, New Releases, and Poetry Readings

I’m proud to announce that my books will be sold at the new Long Island Author’s Group Bookstore at the Westfield South Shore Mall on Long Island. The Grand Opening, originally scheduled for his Wednesday, September 1st, has been rescheduled for next Wednesday, September 8, starting at 6 p.m. The bookstore is located at the Islip Arts Council Gallery in Westfield South Shore Mall, 1701 Sunrise Highway, Bayshore, NY, next to the Dick’s Sporting Goods Store. I’ll be there with my fellow LIAG members and hope some of you will be able to attend. Refreshments will be served.

On September 3rd, my paranormal short story, “Murder in the Mirror” will be published in the Red Penguin Collection’s supernatural anthology, UNTIL DAWN, that features chilling tales by some great authors. Check out the trailer below.

I’m also happy to announce that several of my poems are being read on Diverse TV and being recorded on YouTube. Some of these poems are from my new poetry anthology, MEOWS AND PURRS: A COLLECTION OF CAT POEMS.

The following poem, “We All Lost Something During the Pandemic” was dedicated to my friend Clare who passed away from COVID.

My last announcement is that my new Cobble Cove cozy mystery, BARKING UP THE WRONG TREE, has been accepted by Solstice Publishing. This story features all the quirky characters in my series with Fido, the golden retriever, in a starring role. Of course, Sneaky, the Siamese, who is the main pet of the series, will have his share of the action.

Posted in mystery, Reviews, Thriller

Review of Last Girl Ghosted by Lisa Unger

*****5 stars

This was my first Lisa Unger book, but it won’t be my last. I couldn’t stop turning the pages (or actually swiping them because I was reading the NetGalley digital ARC copy on my phone). The book, publishing in October but available for pre-order now, is somewhat dark. Although very different, I can compare it to Gone Girl which I also enjoyed and which also featured a missing person. In this case, several missing women. It takes place in New York City, right before the COVID pandemic closed things down and refers to a Chinese virus that was starting to spread.

The main character, Wren Greenwood (not her real name), is the author of the popular Dear Birdie advice column that is also a podcast. Only her friend Jax knows her background, how, at 15, Wren’s world was turned upside down after her family moved to an isolated area because her father, a war veteran, had become what some term a Doomsday Prepper. His actions culminated in a tragedy that caused Wren, born as Robin, to change her name and return to society to build a life to help others facing challenges in their lives.

When Wren hooks up with a man named Adam through Torch, an online dating site, she finds herself opening up to him and revealing her dark past. When Adam unexpectedly disappears and a detective comes to Wren’s door seeking help in finding missing women who used Torch to meet a man he believed was Adam, Wren once again faces horror.

The twists and turns in this book had me on the edge of my seat. Although I liked the ending that featured additional twists, I found the pace a bit slow in the last part of the book after the climax. I thought each character in the book was well depicted and would highly recommend it if you’re a fan of Gillian Flynn and Lisa Diaz Meyer, two dark fiction authors I admire.

Posted in Cats, Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal: Meows and Purrs: A Collection of Cat Poems (includes a Sample Poem)

I’m proud to announce the cover for my new poetry book of cat poems.

Here is a sample poem from the collection:

TWO CATS ARE BETTER THAN ONE

Double the trouble,

double the fun.

Two cats are better than one.

When you look to adopt a kitten,

ask for a sibling or two.

It’s the best thing you can do.

You’ll never regret taking another.

They’ll grow up as friends and play together.

Don’t worry about the litter pans.

They’ll share one box of sand.

No cat food will go to waste.

Just pick up a case.

Make room on your bed and under the covers.

You’ll never be lonely with one or the other.

Double the charm,

double the love.

Two cats are better than one.

If you open your heart to two fur babies,

You’ll know it’s the best things you’ve done

because two cats are better than one.

Purchase Link: http://mybook.to/mapddl

Posted in Cat Writers' Association, short stories

Announcing My Short Story Awards for my Cozy Mystery, Science Fiction Tale, and a True Cat Rescue Story

I’m proud to announce that I’ve received three Certificates of Excellence for my short stories from the Cat Writers’ Association in their annual contest. My stories, all featuring felines, vary in genre and format.

Sneaky’s Summer Mystery is a cozy mystery that’s part of the Cobble Cove story series with the same characters from the books. It’s available as an eBook and is free on Kindle Unlimited.

Cobble Cove is in the midst of an August heatwave. It’s the worst time for the air conditioner at the Cobble Cove library to break down. Alicia has no choice but to close the library and bring Sneaky, the library cat, home with her. After scheduling the air conditioner service with Rudy Gibbs, a technician from Hapnabber’s Repair Shop, she is surprised to learn that John knew Rudy when they were teenagers. When Rudy turns up dead after working on the AC at the library and Alicia learns of it during a barbecue she and John host with Gilly and Ramsay, Sneaky and Kittykai must once again protect their favorite ladies when they conduct their own investigation into the murder.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/SneakySummer

“The Felinedae Mission” is a science fiction tale included in the What Lies Beyond anthology that’s part of the Red Penguin Collection. This story was also featured in Red Penguin’s Stand Out! Volume 1 of the Best of the Red Penguin Collection. Both anthologies are available in print form and as eBooks.

“What Lies Beyond: Sci-Fi Stories of The Future” Edited by JK Larkin

Are You On The Prowl For A Dark, Enticing, and Wildly Imaginative Science Fiction Reading Experience?

Journey through space and time as you read this second installment of The Red Penguin Collection, an anthology series by Red Penguin Books. In our collection of science fiction stories, you will be confronted with aliens, robots, clones, and… cats? When it comes to the ever-expanding universe and the bounds of technology, anything is possible!

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3fu4xsc

“The Story of Harry and Hermione” is a non-fiction piece about how I came to adopt my two cats. It’s included in the Second Chance Cats: True Stories of the Cats We Rescue and the Cats Who Rescue Us. This anthology is also available in print and in ebook form.

There’s no feeling quite like that of getting a second chance and a fresh start. When we adopt a homeless cat–or that cat decides to adopt us–we’re not just giving one of earth’s most beautiful and inscrutable creatures a chance at a good life, we’re giving ourselves the gift of companionship, solace, and love. And plenty of laughter too!

This heartwarming collection includes more than 30 true, contemporary stories told by a variety of writers, including Melody Carlson, Lauraine Snelling, and Kristin Billerbeck. Each feel-good story involves cat rescue, some in a typical way and others in surprising–even miraculous–ways. Sometimes the question becomes: Really, who rescued whom?

A thoughtful gift for the cat lover in your life, Second-Chance Cats is the purrfect companion for cozy nights, lazy weekends, and any time you need a pick-me-up.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3ioIdlK

I’m quite honored to have these stories recognized by the Cat Writers’ Association. They are now eligible to win a Muse Medallion, the highest award of the association. This coveted prize will be awarded at their virtual conference in October. For more information about the conference and CWA, a wonderful group of creatives who feature cats in their works. check their website at catwriters.com.

Posted in Next Chapter, Reviews

Review: A Liverpool Lullaby: Mersey Murder Mysteries Book 8, by Brian L. Porter

*****5-stars

If you haven’t read any of the Mersey Murder Mysteries, you’re missing some great reads. Book 8, A Liverpool Lullaby, is no exception and is easily read as a standalone. What intrigued me most, besides the search for a killer who took his victims’ hearts and played a tape of lullaby’s as he was killing them, was the interplay between the characters of the Merseyside Police Special Murder Investigation Team. The glimpses into the back stories of each of these detectives makes me want to go back and read each prior book. There’s one scene in particular that is quite emotional and that both shocked and touched me toward the end of the story. I won’t give this away, but I highly recommend this book and the series to anyone who enjoys a good police procedural with great characters and fast-paced action. It reminded me of Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct Mysteries.

Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3xnOuCi

Posted in author news, events

August Book and Event News

I hope you’re all enjoying your summers. I’ve been working on some writing projects and taking day trips as well as planning a longer one soon. I’ve cut back on a few promos this month but I do have a few things scheduled.

On August 26 at 7 pm EST, I’ll be moderating and participating in a pet author panel with other members of the Cat Writers’ Association for my library’s summer reading program event. Since it will take place virtually in Zoom, anyone can attend. Click here to register.

I’m also happy to announce that my cat book of poetry, “Meows and Purrs: A Collection of Cat Poems” has been accepted by Next Chapter Publishing. While there is not release date yet, it should be out soon. Below is a sample poem from the book. The cover image may not be the final one for the published copy.

MINI PANTHER

Mini Panther

Dark as night

Golden eyes shining bright.

Tame yet wild

Stalking prey

On a string I wave.

Crouching low

Ready to spring

At the sound

Of the catfood tin.

Mini Panther

Sleek and slim

Sturdy body, long lean limbs

Tiny black kitten

Now full grown

My Mini Panther guards our home.

*This poem is dedicated to Harry, my handsome and friendly mini panther.