Monday, June 21, 2021

Out of the Broom Closet by Sable Hunter and Rebecca Schaefer #MuseMonday #Romance


What a fun guest post I have for you today. This is a definite tell-all so kick back and enjoy!

They say write what you know – and I have. In fourteen years, I have funneled my various interests and life experiences into 70+ romance novels with varying themes. Since I was raised in the country, I could write about cowboys and rural life with relative ease. With my family hailing from South Louisiana, I enjoyed penning stories set in the bayou country with respectful nods to the Cajun and Creole lifestyle. Really, the universe of connected series I have written contain everything from cowboys to bikers, with a sprinkling of lawmen and firemen thrown in for good measure. Mostly, I have prided myself in creating stories starring three-dimensional characters with layers of emotion and intrigue.

Lately since we have two little girls in the family, I have felt the need to structure my tales with a little less explicitness. This is the reason some of the books are being released under my sweet penname, Rebecca Schaefer, instead of the one I’m best known for – Sable Hunter.

One of the things I enjoy most is weaving myself into the books, and I do this more often than not. Anyone who reads my body of work will end up knowing me pretty well. A few days ago, I was sitting drinking coffee with my cousin who was regaling me with how she makes a quilt. She says the process fulfills her, and it’s a way of leaving something behind that she created with her own two hands for loved ones to remember her by.

To tell you the truth, I was a bit jealous. Now, I’m not crafty – at all. I can play the piano, sing, write a song, a poem, a book, etc. – but that’s my limit. I enjoyed listening to Janice explain how she creates the design, cuts the blocks, pieces the pattern together, then finishes off with a complimentary border. While she painted her visual picture, I realized I create a book in a similar fashion, piecing it all together in a pleasing tapestry of words. I wouldn’t want to write an autobiography, or just hand one of my girls my diary – on the surface I’m pretty boring. Maybe I should view these romance novels I create as a way of pressing my memories, my thoughts, and my dreams between the pages for my friends and loved ones to find glimpses of me once I’m gone.

One facet of my existence that I find to be interesting to others is my involvement with the supernatural. In my family, we refer to it as the supernormal, because magic has always been part of our life. For generations, the women in my line have worked with herbs and crystals. My great-grandmother was the village wise woman who dispensed medicine, read tea leaves, and burned candles for others who needed a little extra help with things. I do this too. We don’t think its extraordinary. With us its not a religion, its just the way we interact with the world. We call it hoodoo or rootwork. My folks go to church on Sunday morning and make mojo bags in the afternoon. I used to try and hide this element of my life, but now I’m finding most folks appreciate the idea and long for a little bit more magic in their own life – so I’ve come out of the broom closet! Let me show you my

‘craft’ area where I keep my oils, crystal, etc. Of course, I work my real magic in the recliner where I write. Ha!    

So, please allow me to introduce you to the witches of Wildflower Way in my sweet series called Moon Magic. There is much of my life in these books. The spells are real and many of the happenings come from my own experience. Most of the paranormal events are taken from my ghost-hunting days. I enjoyed this odd past time before it became a popular thing to do. My aim was to prove to myself that love exists beyond the grave. In summation, these books are full of love, mystery, suspense, magic – and me!

Below is the cover, the link, and the blurb for A WISHING MOON. The second in the series, A CRESCENT MOON has been released also – with a third, ZAC’S BLUE MOON coming later in 2021.

So, I invite you to read these books and get to know me a little better.

Thank you for listening to me ramble.

Rebecca Schaefer/Sable Hunter.     


Arabella Landry is a witch on a mission. She is desperately seeking the incredible man who haunts her dreams. With the help of the powerful women in her family, she finds him. Unfortunately, he is completely paralyzed, a prisoner within his own body. 

Jade Landale, a career Texas politician, falls head over heels for the beautiful woman who refuses to give up on him. Soon, his world turns topsy-turvy as he finds himself embroiled in a world of magic, murder, and the sweetest love he could possibly imagine.

The Moon Magic Series invites you to visit an enchanted world of love, suspense, and the supernatural. Each book introduces a romantic couple and a new mystery. Since the series centers around a magical family, you never have to say goodbye to a character, their stories and adventures will continue. Please join the witches of Wildflower Way and bring a little magic into your own life.    

Angelique rubbed some condensation off the window at her side. “You saw love in the scrying bowl, didn’t you?”

“Yes, I did.” Nanette briefly met her friend’s gaze as the lights from a passing car flashed through the interior of the Jag. “I don’t think I was wrong about that, do you? Who knew we’d have two fine young men come into our lives?”


Arabella’s plea didn’t fall on deaf ears. “It’s okay, sweetheart. I’m not going to say anything to embarrass you.”

“Oh, Lordy,” she moaned softly. Next, her grandmother would be asking Jade his intentions. Not that she wouldn’t like to know them herself. She couldn’t help but worry how much longer she’d have with him. Soon, he’d return to his everyday life. Would there be room in his world for her then?

“Shush, it’s okay.” Feeling her grow tense, he entwined his fingers with hers, giving them a gentle, reassuring squeeze. “What is scrying, Ms. Beaureguarde?” he asked, deftly changing the subject the way he often did in interviews when the topic wasn’t one he cared to discuss.

Given Nanette’s gift of gab and her innate desire to teach, she dove right into her explanation. “Well, scrying is a method of seeing into the unknown – past, present, or future. Instead of using tarot cards, tea leaves, or a crystal ball, one stares into a dark reflective surface. Some use obsidian, some use dark mirrors. I, like Nostradamus, peer into water held in a black glass bowl. Tap water might do for some, but I use water from an ancient well blessed by a Haitian voodoo queen.”

Jade and Arabella listened politely as she spoke about when she would scry and what she would see. Arabella did notice she avoided recounting the painful visions, relating only the ones that brought joy or intrigue. As Nanette shared with Jade, with him asking appropriate questions at appropriate times, Arabella let their exchange soothe her. When she was fully relaxed, she became aware of Jade tracing a pattern in her palm with the tip of one finger. Stilling herself completely, she concentrated on his touch. Her heart raced when she realized he was writing something over and over. I want you. I want you. I want you.


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Friday, June 18, 2021

Fearless in Love by Estelle Petersen #FearlessFriday #Romance #Discover...


Oh sigh! Fearless in love worth on!

The most fearless act I had ever made in my life was an act of love. I met a gorgeous Scandinavian university student in my city, Brisbane, in eastern Australia years ago. He was a hot hunk who had people around him all the time – it was nearly impossible to get his attention. 

The guy was smart – he was in his last semester studying for his Master’s degree. Each time we met, at parties or elsewhere, he had a girlfriend. I’m not one to cut someone else’s lunch, so I chose to forget any silly notion that there was ever a chance of being with him, let alone have a future together. 

After all, he was from Norway and he had no plans of continuing to live in Australia after he graduated. What chance was there for me? Plus, I had my own pathway. I was finishing my Master of Business Administration (MBA) while working full-time in a great job that I enjoyed very much. 

The months flew by and we met again. This time, he was single and interested. Very interested. We dated, and our relationship grew from fun and flirty to intense and loving. We understood each other emotionally and mentally, connecting in a way that we had never done with anyone else before. 

Four months later, he graduated with his degree and returned to Norway – he couldn’t stay in Australia any longer as the government’s rules on visas were strict. 

Curious about a country so far away from my home, I travelled with my boyfriend to Norway to experience a new place – it was freezing cold when we arrived in the middle of winter. It wasn’t the kind of place I planned to live in, being a woman who loved sunshine and warm weather. When my holiday visa expired, I returned to Australia. My boyfriend remained in Norway, found an apartment, and started working. 

He and I missed each other like crazy for six months. We called each other every day via Skype and our feelings grew stronger and more intense than ever, instead of fading away with time and distance. 

We realized that at some point we would have to make a decision because we couldn’t have a long-distance relationship forever. 

So what did I do? 

I quit my job and hopped on the plane on the day after my last exam, not caring if I had passed or failed my course. Fearless, huh? A friend of mine commented that I was either brave or crazy to make such a bold life-changing move. 

Let’s fast-forward to years later. Today, I am a proud mother of two children and I am married to my Norwegian soulmate. He and I have been through so much, and we stuck together no matter what. We overcame the challenges of language and cultural differences, not to mention the arrows of prejudice that people threw at us. Plus, I continued my career goals – sometimes I had to take two steps backward to make a big leap forward. And yes, I passed every subject in my MBA with flying colors. Perhaps I’m blessed in this life with a wonderful family that my partner and I have made together. 

When it comes to writing and being an author, my partner is my biggest fan. I always give my first paperback copy of my published stories to my husband – signed with love. My latest story is Loving Jack,  an Australian outback romance in the Cowboy Desire anthology published by Black Velvet Seductions. The anthology features stories by fourteen talented and award-winning authors. 

I believe I’m similar to my protagonist, Olivia, who returns home to Australia after living overseas for five years. She realizes that home is an intangible place she creates with her love interest, Jack. Like Olivia, I know that home is where my heart is. 

Check out one of Estelle’s stories:

Cowboy Desire is an eclectic assortment of short stories published by Black Velvet Seductions. It includes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and even outer space romance, Cowboy Desire offers fourteen stunning short stories.

These fourteen authors provide a range of sweet to sexy stories all with a Western cowboy theme. They feature strong men and women battling the weather and dangerous terrain, here on earth and in outer space.

The collection is as diverse as the authors who wrote them. Here’s a chance to discover new talented authors and the characters they create. Within these pages, there are blends of tender, often moving, thought-provoking and downright sexy stories. 

Book link: 

About the author

Estelle Pettersen is an Australian author and former journalist whose romance stories explore empowerment, freedom, and finding one’s strength. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Journalism and Psychology, from the University of Queensland, Australia. Her second degree is an MBA from Queensland University of Technology, Australia. She is a member of Romance Writers of Australia and is passionate about history, languages, cultures, traveling, food, and wine. She is happily married and living in Norway these days. 

Author links:

Amazon page: 

Author website:










Thursday, June 10, 2021

Reading and #Reviews (Binchy)

I'm a writer, but I'm also a reader. Each month, I'll share with you reviews of present and past reads. My available time to read is limited because I write, but I love to curl up with a paperback or an eBook at night for the last hour of my day.

I tend to read what I write, but not exclusively. Besides Romantic Suspense, I read crime and law novels, once in a while a true story, WWII historicals, mysteries, and main stream character driven books.

I have only one complete review to share this month. I previewed two non-fiction books, and I do intend to read them in the next couple of weeks. I started a book by Brenda Novak entitled Blind Spot but was so underwhelmed, I set it aside. I then opened The Vanishing by Jayne Ann Krentz, but I couldn't get past the second chapter. I found her story-telling just that---telling now showing. I couldn't get into it. When this happens, I set the book aside and try again in a few weeks. Maybe it was my mood that night. Maybe next time, I'll enjoy it. So, last night I opened Blind Spot again. I'm not rabid over it, but I will finish. I'll post the review next time.

Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy

This is the story of a motherless baby girl raised by a close-knit Dublin community. But it's also the story of the adults who share in the love of the child. Maeve Binchy is a master of characterization which is why I love her books. There are stories within stories because of how she is able to weave fascinating, everyday people and their lives together. This was a great read.


When Noel learns that his terminally ill former flame is pregnant with his child, he agrees to take guardianship of the baby girl once she’s born. But as a single father battling demons of his own, Noel can’t do it alone. 

Fortunately, he has a competent, caring network of friends, family and neighbors: Lisa, his unlucky-in-love classmate, who moves in with him to help him care for little Frankie around the clock; his American cousin, Emily, always there with a pep talk; the newly retired Dr. Hat, with more time on his hands than he knows what to do with; Dr. Declan and Fiona and their baby son, Frankie’s first friend; and many eager babysitters, including old friends Signora and Aidan and Frankie’s doting grandparents, Josie and Charles. 

But not everyone is pleased with the unconventional arrangement, especially a nosy social worker, Moira, who is convinced that Frankie would be better off in a foster home. Now it’s up to Noel to persuade her that everyone in town has something special to offer when it comes to minding Frankie.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Clues from the Bag You Carry by Wendy Kendall #mystery #handbag


I love a big bag. I tried to downsize, but I needed all of the stuff that wouldn't fit in the smaller bag. I am definitely a toter. Read on and discover your true personality. Thanks to my guest today, Wendy Kendall. Her new book sounds like a fun read.

The bag you carry shows clues about the times you live in, the personality of the carrier, and sometimes clues about an unsolved mystery. In my book Kat Out of the Bag, Katherine Watson, amateur sleuth/purse designer investigates many clues. One type is when she reads personalities through the bags suspects carry. 

Handbags is a term first used to describe the luggage both men and women hand carried during the start of train travel. So what is your go-to bag? And when you pick another, what does that say about you? Are you your handbag? Here's some examples . . . 

Shoulder baggers are charismatic, multifaceted doers. This choice is a classic and gracefully works day straight into a night out. That's adaptability in style and personality. From ambitious to playful, there's an allure of mystery. Unpredictability defines you. 

Tote bag toters are far-sighted pragmatists. This roomy carry-all shows you come ready for any situation, including a book or ebook in case you're stuck in a waiting room. This bag is the picture of
preparedness and reflects the carrier's versatility. 

When you grab a clutch, you're showing you're a visual thinker. You're a fashionista and carry elegance on display. You're more interested in the beauty of art and d├ęcor than the convenience of size. You're a minimalist at heart. 

Hobo carriers, you're imaginative dreamers and non-conformist, creative, free-spirits. Your bag defies shape and form. You seek opportunities to grab your purse and take off on the next spur-of-the-moment escapade.

Hands free cross body carriers are bold adventurers. You crave new explorations of land and cultures. These bags are just enough space for your essentials, plus a little more.


Kat Out of the Bag by Wendy Kendall 

Someone had their arms around her, and Katherine couldn't scream because they were tightly holding a big, white handkerchief over and in her mouth. It was also over her nose and she could feel that it was wet and sweet all at the same time, like a chemical. She struggled, kicking back with her feet and trying to get her arms free, but those were tightly held down. Katherine was in a panic and all her muscles seized up as she fought. Her last conscious thought was of a huge, black, furry growling beast jumping up at her shoulder height, knocking the person holding her over as she fell hard on the ground. 

Book Blurb:

When celebrated international purse designer Katherine Watson hosts a party for her Purse-onality Museum, she never expected the next day's headline to read: Murder at the Gala Premiere.

Working to solve the murder, Katherine matches wits with local cop Jason Holmes and his K-9 partner Hobbs. Although Holmes and Watson disagree often, they discover an undeniable attraction building between them. They'll have to put their feelings on hold and focus on solving the murder, before Katherine becomes the killer's next knock off. 

Book Links:

Amazon -

Goodreads -

BookBub -

Google Play -


Wednesday, June 2, 2021

There's Wicked...and then there's Wicked by Jennifer Wilck #WickedWednesday #romance #WRPbks


Please welcome back Jennifer Wilck to Discover... and Wicked Wednesday. As it turns out, wicked has a lot of meanings. Jennifer knows. So grab a cup and enjoy the read.

When Brenda asked me to write about something “wicked” for this blog post, I laughed. My latest book that I’m promoting, Better Together in Boston, is, as you can see from the title, set in Boston. And Bostonians, and New Englanders in general, use the word “wicked” as a synonym for “very.” So I thought the request was appropriate. 

Why is my story set in Boston? Well, this book is part of the Ticket to True Love series, a multi-author contemporary romance anthology. Each participating author is given a letter of the alphabet to use for their title/setting, and I was given the letter “B.” Since my story incorporates Jewish characters, and cities tend to work better for that (at least for my storytelling), I chose Boston. 

But back to “wicked.” I had a wicked hard time writing this book because of the heroine, Anna. She made a brief appearance in the previous book I wrote for this series, Whispers in Washington, as the best friend of the heroine. I wanted to give her her own story, but I wanted her to be different from my other heroines. 

Anna doesn’t want to get married. She doesn’t want children. She doesn’t believe it’s possible to have it all, and she’s chosen a career. She’s in her early forties and she’s satisfied with her life as is. Mostly. So how do I write a heroine who some might think is “wicked” for a typical romance? After all, romance needs a couple that gets a happily ever after (or a happily for now), and if she’s happy being alone, exactly how am I supposed to do that? Is it possible to make her desires change without making her weak? 

Sure. Just like it’s possible to redeem a wicked character from one book and turn them into the hero in another—and no, I’m not saying that women who like their independence or don’t want children are wicked. Not at all. I know plenty of single women who don’t have children and are completely satisfied with their life. I admire them. 

But Anna? Anna is different. Her adult life is built on a difficult childhood. She watched her mother sacrifice everything to raise her, and Anna isn’t sure if she’s unselfish enough to do that. She’s so used to being alone that she forgets that a true partnership can be built with the right person. No, it’s not possible to have everything, but it is possible to have more than one dream with the right kind of help. And that’s where Ben enters. 

So is Anna wicked? No, not to me she isn’t. And I hope readers don’t find her wicked either. In fact, I hope they can see parts of themselves in her, and I hope she gives them hope that sometimes, life can be better with the right person by your side. 

By the way, if you’re interested in where “wicked” comes from, here’s a cute article I found during my research: 

Better Together In Boston Blurb: 

Do you believe in the legend of True Springs? 

Mr. Right doesn’t exist… 

Anna Levinson was raised by a single mother, who sacrificed her dreams to give her daughter a warm, loving home. Now a respected professor on the tenure track, Anna is driven to live the life she thinks her mother should have had. She's long since come to terms with the understanding that “having it all” is impossible if she wants a successful career.  

He’s been told he’s Mr. Wrong more times than he can count… 

Despite being left at the altar twice, Ben Diamond still believes his soul mate is out there. He’s ready to marry and start a family of his own. He just clearly won't recognize her when he does find her. And then he meets the maid of honor at his cousin’s wedding, and his world is thrown off kilter. 

Settling down might be more than they bargained for. 

A long-distance relationship isn’t what either of them has in mind, and Anna isn’t about to ruin another person’s dreams. However, giving each other up is harder than it looks. Can Ben convince Anna that she’s got him all wrong, and that he’s finally gotten it right? 

Fall in love with Anna & Ben in this steamy contemporary romance. 

Ticket to True Love is a steamy contemporary romance series about new beginnings, second chances, and finding true love in unexpected places. Fall in love all over the world with bestselling and award-winning authors JB Schroeder, Savannah Kade, Moni Boyce, Shirley Hailstock, Holland Rae, Julie Strauss, & Jennifer Wilck. Start your next romance with Better Together in Boston now! 

Buy Link:


Jennifer started telling herself stories as a little girl when she couldn’t fall asleep at night. Pretty soon, her head was filled with these stories and the characters that populated them. Even as an adult, she thinks about the characters and stories at night before she falls asleep or walking the dog. Eventually, she started writing them down. Her favorite stories to write are those with smart, sassy, independent heroines; handsome, strong and slightly vulnerable heroes; and her stories always end with happily ever after. 

In the real world, she’s the mother of two amazing daughters and wife of one of the smartest men she knows. She believes humor is the only way to get through the day and does not believe in sharing her chocolate. 

She writes contemporary romance, many of which feature Jewish characters in non-religious settings (#ownvoices). She’s published with The Wild Rose Press and all her books are available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 

Author Links: 







Monday, May 31, 2021

Who Doesn't Love Space Cowboys? by Lyndi Alexander #cowboy #SciFi #romance


You're going to have fun with this one. I love hearing how stories come to be. Lyndi has a great tale for you SciFi fans, romance fans, action story fans. 

For several years in the early 2000s, I played in an online RPG that was essentially live RP, just online. The players were all sci-fi nerds of one shape or another. We had B5 people playing against Trek characters, Star Wars, Stargate, and a decent number of characters people made up to share those worlds. Fox Mulder even made a guest appearance now and then.

During those years, I played a young captain very like Valeni, and my best friend played a sexy cowboy from Earth named Garrett Rawls. My (now ex-) husband played a young robot who wasn’t always comfortable with his male designation and so constructed a female identity as well. J.R. became Jayna, as they chose. Often this generated some jealousy and tension as my character watched her friend and sometimes mate become female and interested in other partners.

Move ahead a dozen years, and the characters still appealed to me, even though the RPG was long gone. The question became how best to portray them. Val and Garrett could be reincarnated pretty much as-is; but what to do about the third party complicating their lives? And Nik was born.

Even though this is set in a science-fiction landscape, it is still very much a romance. Or two. Or three. And an action story. And a discovery of a new species story. And sibling rivalry. And so much more. I love that I can commemorate these characters and the love they once shared—and share it in a new form, fresh and new.

And who doesn’t love space cowboys? 


Valeni Pascual wants to be free to make a living hauling cargo with her spaceship and to understand the shapeshifting alien who presents sometimes as the steamy male Nik and other times as the blonde bombshell Nikki.

As a rebel insurgence builds against the oppressive government known as the Agency, Valeni and Nik/Nikki encounter a sexy Terran cowboy named Garrett Rawls. Since being pulled into this region of space by another mysterious wormhole, Garrett has looked for a way to return to Earth. After meeting Valeni and Nikki, he might have found something worth staying for.

 However, dark forces may have a much bigger picture in mind for all of them. Valeni, Nik/Nikki, and Garrett are pulled into a life and death fight that lays bare all of their secrets and their desires. Will they lose everything as the battle against the Agency rages around them or can love pull them through? 


One man in particular caught Nik’s attention. He was long and lean, dressed in a simple blue work shirt and denim pants over hand-tooled boots. He wore a broad-brimmed hat, which he took off to speak. His speech was slow, his vowels drawled, and his grin both shy and genuine.

            Rogers called on the man for his opinion. “Now here we have an import—a genuine cowboy from the old Terran system.”

            “Cow boy?” Nik asked Valeni. “Is he part bovine, then? He looks human.”

            Valeni chuckled. “I suspect he is human. Wait a minute.” She pulled out her handheld communication device and typed in the question. “Hmm. It is a old Terran term. A cowboy herds animals from horseback on a ranch.”

            Nik then asked about the term “horse” and the term “ranch,” both of which were unfamiliar. “It seems unlikely such a person could exercise these pursuits in space.” 

Author Bio 

Lyndi Alexander always dreamed of faraway worlds and interesting alien contacts. She lives as a post-modern hippie in Asheville, North Carolina, a single mother of her last child of seven, a daughter on the autism spectrum, finding that every day feels a lot like first contact with a new species. 

Author Links






Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Serial Killers Are Humans Too! by Mike Owens #RomanticComedy #DarkHumor #WickedWednesday


Sacrebleu! Holy Moly! OMG! If you like dark humor, you're going to love Mike Owen's latest book. 

Serial killers sometimes get a bum rap (did I really say that?). Like everyone else they have needs besides the obvious homicidal ones. Sometimes they just need to cuddle…without strangulation, to caress…without breaking bones, to sit on the sofa after dinner and share the day’s experiences with someone who will understand. Bertie puts it almost perfectly when, after she and Bernie roll another body into a deep ravine, she says, “You know, we’re like our own little Justice League. We do what needs to be done.” 

They looked alike, dressed alike, shared the same food preferences, finished one another’s sentences. What were the chances that in a world where opposites attract and likes repel, two people so similar in every way, including their successful careers as serial killers, would meet, fall in love and form one of the deadliest duos ever? Bernie and Bertie did just that, and this is their story.

The book is intended to be a romantic comedy (a little gory, yes) and the following brief excerpt in which the two set out to dismember a therapist who pushed Bernie a bit too far will hopefully set the tone for the work:

Bernie followed her inside past the hanging frozen carcasses to the back of the refrigeration truck,  half expecting a bloodied, frigid Dr. Carruthers to leap out and grab him by the throat.

“Here we are,” Bertie said. And there, between the carcasses of two pigs hanging from hooks, was the former Dr. Carruthers, wrapped in heavy plastic and hanging upright from a hook suspended from the ceiling.

“Bertie, she’s naked.” The nausea came roaring back.

“Of course, I couldn’t very well leave her in a dress. Anybody who came into the truck would have spotted that right off.”

“But you took off everything.” Obviously, Bertie was right about the dress. Leaving the therapist fully clothed would be silly at best, dangerous at worst. But the harsh fluorescent light left nothing to the imagination, and Bernie saw things he never ever wanted to see.

But Bertie was all business. “Look around, Bernie, do you see any meat hanging in here wearing a bra and panties?” 

Author Biography: A native Tar Heel, Mike Owens obtained his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, and later, an MFA in creative writing from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, where he now resides. His topics in fiction vary widely, ranging from science themes to end-of-life issues to erotica…go figure! His new release, Bernie & Bertie (Serial Killers Need Love Too) is a romantic comedy featuring two—you guessed it—serial killers who meet, fall in love, and form one of the deadliest duos ever. Enjoy! 










Monday, May 24, 2021

Ripped from the Pages... #MuseMonday, #Inspiration

When I don't have a guest on Muse Monday, I'll share excerpts with photos that inspired scenes from my books. The scenes are most likely never before shared excerpts. 

I fell in love with a ghost town hanging on the side of the mountain when I was a kid. Over the decades, Jerome went from mining town to ghost town to hippie haven to the artsy tourist town it is today. Changed very little over the years, the residents like to keep it alive in the spirit of the early 1900s. Spirits do reside there alongside wine tasting and crafts. Jerome, renamed Joshua for my books, is the perfect setting for my MacKenzie Chronicle.

Ripped from the pages... of Secrets of The Ravine

He sauntered closer. His eyes narrowed studying her. “Have we met?”

Her mouth went dry. “I’m not sure.”

“Do you ever get to Copperdale?”

“S-sure. For shopping now and then.” Joshua, Arizona focused on art, wine, food, and gifts. Any practical shopping had to be done in Copperdale, less than an hour down the hill.

“Hey, Zac.” His friend in the metal sculpture display area called out. “You have to see this.”

“Maybe we’ve run into each other there,” Zac said. “I moved to Copperdale from Phoenix recently.”


He stared a moment longer and then handed her the purchase, his fingers trailing along the side of her palm as he transferred the box. “I’ll take this. Excuse me.”

She managed a nod as he strode to the back of the shop, and she stepped to the checkout counter next to the shelf of music boxes. The last strains of the song ended. Her vision clouded with memories of another time and another’s touch.

“I think we’re ready.” The spiky-haired woman handed over her purchases.

Magpie took a deep breath and donned her shopkeeper persona. “Great.” The group of five gathered on the customer side of the counter. “So, you decided. This green jacket looked wonderful on you.”

The redhead and the other man—they appeared to be a couple—who’d been in the back of the store, placed a metal sculpture of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church on the counter.

“Great piece.”

As she ran the card, Magpie asked, “First time here?” The man named Zac moved closer. A flutter trickled from her chest to her stomach.

“We’ve all been here, a few years ago. Except for Zac.” The other man in the group said.

“I didn’t realize what I’d been missing.” He spoke to no one in particular, but his smile landed on her.

Zac picked up the sack with the music box. “Are you the owner of this great store?”

“I am.” She returned his smile. “Magpie MacKenzie. And you are?”

“Zac Peartree. Is that your real name?”

Accustomed to his reaction, she gave her standard reply. “It’s a long story.”

“One I’m sure I’d enjoy hearing. Will you be working at your mercantile all weekend?”

She swallowed down the recurring flutter. “Mostly.”

“You all should have a drink at the Apparition Room tonight, the bar below the Copper Mountain Hotel down the block.” Phaedra finished stuffing paper around the sculpture for protection and then handed the box to the man with the redhead. “Our very own Magpie MacKenzie will be singing.”

Magpie scuffed a boot against her friend’s foot to quiet her.

“She’s on at eight.”

The blonde clapped her hands. “Great. Sounds fun.”

“I guess that means we’ll see you later, Magpie.” Zac followed his friends from the store but peered over his shoulder with an unreadable expression before he disappeared out the door and into the chilly wind.

Slightly lightheaded, Magpie braced herself on the counter. “Honestly, Phaedra, I could—”

“Now, Mags, you haven’t been this tongue-tied over a guy in years.” She retrieved her purse from behind the counter where she’d set it when she came in. “I need to get going, and you need to enjoy the quivers that guy is giving you. I’d guess he’s only thirty or close to it, but what the hell, he’s hot. Every man should fill his jeans like that, not to mention his shoulders.” She stopped by the door.

“You two looked at each other as if—”

“As if we know each other?”

“Know each other? I agree he bore a resemblance to Mark, but that’s all.”

“Really? Sacrebleu, Phaedra. When I stared into that face, I saw Mark…a soul…from twenty-eight years ago.” The soul of someone she’d loved.

Who might have been a murderer…or worse, murdered by my father.


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Gulf of Deception by Kelly Hopkins #review #NewRelease


I'm so excited about this new book by up and coming author, Kelly Hopkins. You'll want to say you read her first book when she takes off, and then await her future releases. 

Beach life is killer, literally.

Gulf of Deception is the first in a series. This book is categorized as Young Adult, but this all-grown-up lady thinks you'll find a great read no matter what age you're classified. She puts you on that beach, in that beach town. Her setting is a character all to itself. The suspense is gripping, and the story is complicated so you can't put it down. I highly recommend this book.

On the cusp of her high school graduation, Lily Harmony needs to figure out how to break it to her lawyer parents that she doesn’t want to follow in the family footsteps--especially with her band in high demand on the Fort Myers beach scene.

But when her father is killed inside his office and their mother accused of his murder, Lily and her estranged sister Annabelle are convinced the police have the wrong person. Clues are hard to come by until a mysterious man hands Lily a flash drive and warns her the information contained on it might get her killed. As Lily works to unravel what the files and pictures mean, a stunning discovery reveals the murderer might be closer than she thought.

With the help of her gamer BFF and maybe something more, Lily and her sister scour the Everglades for connections to her father’s killer. But what they find hidden in the canopy of cypress tress is more dangerous than they ever imagined—a long-lost secret worth millions—and worth killing for.


Sunlight streamed through the windows, and pang thudded deep in my chest. Hard to believe I was
leaving this stunning scene in a few short months for college. A thousand miles north in Boston, away from the sun, the sand, and the balmy breeze. At least the ocean was nearby— except it would be the lumbering, lead-colored, frigid Atlantic, and I’d be wearing an unflattering parka with boots up to my knees. Maybe when the snow melted in June, I could trick myself into believing I was standing on the Gulf. 

All so I could one day add my name to the Harmony Law letterhead. Except that was the last thing I wanted. 

My feet stopped short as a shock reverberated through the walls, like something heavy crashed down in another part of the building. But there were no other offices on the top floor. I pulled my headphones from my ears and turned off the music. 

At the office door, I peered into the hall. A gust of humid air rushed down the narrow passage and ruffled my hair. Now where had the breeze come from? 

Delicate music came from the speaker system—some unnamed melody that sounded familiar and

should have vocals. Another blast of breeze hit me as if someone had forgotten to shut a window. 

“Mom?” I called. The law office answered me with soft strains of piano wafting down the hall. 

“Dad?” My father’s door stood ajar at the far end of the building. Next to it, my mother’s office door was shut. Maybe they were both in Dad’s office. His was the only one with a balcony. They could have gone outside and left the door open. 

Another violent crash came from the direction of his office. A gunshot rang out. Then another. Followed by a blood-curdling scream. 



Terrified, I crept down the hallway, my back pressed against the wall, my cellphone pulled from my pocket and clutched in my shaking hand. My heart pounded, making me faint. I blinked away the sensation. Sharp blasts of unintelligible conversation drew me toward the office as wind whipped down the corridor. 

I hesitated at the door and gasped. 

Mom knelt beside Dad, a gun in her hand. Blood colored the front of his polo shirt—a crimson stain spreading from his chest and down his left side on a backdrop of stormy blue fabric. Strangled sobs ripped from my lips. I rushed in, dropped to the floor beside my father, and took his limp hand. 

Glass shards bit into my knees as a terrible gurgle erupted from his throat. Bloody froth colored his chin and lips. The room spun around me.


Kelly Ann Hopkins is the author of Gulf of Deception (Gulf Shores Mysteries), High Vices (July 2021), and Buried Beneath (August 2021). She spends her days as a high school librarian and creative writing teacher where she challenges her students to read with abandon. When she’s not creating perilous adventures for her characters, she is dreaming of her next trip to the Florida Gulf Coast.

Kelly lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two children, and too many books.

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