Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday's Featured Author

One Step Too Far
Tina Seskis
An apparently happy marriage. A beautiful son. A lovely home. So what makes Emily Coleman get up one morning and walk right out of her life to start all over again? Has she had a breakdown? Was it to escape her dysfunctional family - especially her flawed twin sister Caroline who always seemed to hate her? And what is the date that looms, threatening to force her to confront her past? No one has ever guessed her secret. Will you?

Buy Link

Tina Seskis grew up in Hampshire, the daughter of an airline engineer and a sales representative. She studied business at the University of Bath and then worked for over 20 years in marketing, advertising and online, with varying degrees of success. 

Tina wrote the first draft of One Step Too Far in 2010 and then wrote her second novel A Serpentine Affair in autumn/winter 2011.

Tina lives in North London with her husband and son.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Friday's Featured Author

A Sporting Murder
Lesley A. Diehl

It's smooth sailing for Eve Appel and her friend Madeleine, owners of Second to None Consignment Shop in rural Florida's Sabal Bay, land of swamps, cowboys, and lots and lots of 'gators. Eve and her detective boyfriend Alex have joined Madeleine and her new beau David Wilson for a pleasure cruise on his boat. But cloudy, dangerous waters lie ahead. A near fatal encounter with Blake Reed, David's supremely nasty neighbor, is soon followed by a shooting death on the dividing line between David and Blake's land. Both men run sport-hunting reserves, but Blake imports "exotics" from Africa and promotes gator killing, while David stays within the law, pointing clients toward the abundant quail and turkey as well as the wild pigs that ravage the landscape. Nevertheless, when a mutual client is killed, it is David who is arrested and charged with murder.

Blake's nastiness is only exceeded by that of his wife, Elvira, who forces Eve and Madeleine out of their shop, intending to replace it with a consignment shop of her own. It seems that bad luck looms over them all, even Eve's brawny and hard-to-resist Miccosukee Indian friend Sammy, whose nephew has disappeared. As the case against David grows stronger and his friends' misfortunes multiply, Eve and her strange and diverse group of friends, including her ex, a mobster, her grandma, and Sammy's extended family, band together to take on the bad guys. But the waters are getting muddier and more troubled, and Eve and Madeleine may end up inundated in every sense of the word.

Buy links:

David began running toward Madeleine, his heels
kicking up the sand. Once he was in the water and it was
deep enough, he dove in and began swimming.
“Oh, good. Now the sharks will have two people to dine on,”
I said.
Alex grabbed my arm and turned me toward him as if to
reprimand me for such an insensitive remark, but when he
saw the expression on my face, he knew my comment was my
clumsy way of dealing with the horror of what could happen.
“Let’s go,” I said. “We might as well make it a four person
stew.” We both ran in and began swimming for the boat.
Maybe more people would frighten the sharks off or confuse
them. Who knew how their fishy little brains, if they had any
brains, worked?
Madeleine, seeing the water turning bloody near her,
panicked and began to flail her arms around as if trying to beat
off whatever was causing the blood. When she spotted David
swimming toward her, she must have assumed he had been
injured and she began to paddle in his direction.
“No, no. Back the other way. To the boat.” David continued
to stroke toward her. Alex and I were not far behind.
A gray fin cut through the water nearer the fishing boat. A
sandy-haired man had joined the other one, and a cheer went
up from them when they spotted the fin.
David and Madeleine collided in the water. He grabbed her
and began swimming her toward the boat. They reached the
dive platform and pulled themselves onto it. Now Alex and I
were the freshest items left on the dinner buffet. The fin swept
past the fishing boat and toward ours. A huge mouth with rows
of sharp teeth erupted from the water, grabbing a large piece
of bloody chum. It then submerged and was lost to our view.
“You think he’s full?” I asked Alex. I was breathless, not from
the exertion of swimming but from the fear that he and I might
end up in the shark’s belly—or at least parts of us. “Where
the hell is it?” It was frightening enough seeing the fin, but
terrifying when I couldn’t, imagining the creature sneaking up
on us from behind. Or below. Dun, dun dun, dun. The theme
from Jaws ran through my head.
A dark red piece of chum floated toward me, and the fin
surfaced behind it, narrowing the distance between eater and
stuff to be eaten. I stopped swimming for a moment, reached
for the bloody piece, and flung it back toward the fishing boat.
The fin turned and followed. The dive platform was now only a
few feet away. We pulled ourselves out of the water.
Safe. We were all safe.
The platform was still too close to the water for my comfort.
I sprung into the stern of the boat and grabbed Alex’s hand to
drag him after me. We were all shaking. I knew my trembling
was from fear, not from the cold, even though my teeth were
also chattering. Madeleine looked like a ghost. Even her
freckles faded into the grayish color of her skin. Her lips were
After throwing us towels, David began yelling at the men in
the fishing boat. “Didn’t you see there was someone swimming
in the water by our boat? What’s wrong with you throwing all
that bait out here?”
This time the sandy-haired man heard him. “Hey, we didn’t
see anybody but the three of you on shore. We figured it was
safe. We wanted to get ourselves a shark.”
“There’s one here now.” The man who dumped the bait spoke
nonchalantly and turned his back on David.
“You almost killed one of us. How can you be so irresponsible
to toss bait around a boat people have to swim to?”
“We weren’t going to be here long,” the man said, his tone
dismissive. “We’d get our shark and clear out. We figured it
would be safe for you to swim out then.” He never turned his
head in our direction but continued to play the fish on the line.
“It’s not going to be safe around here for a long time. Now
the sharks think this is a feeding ground. I ought to—”
“What ought you to do, Mr. Wilson?” The man who was
fishing handed his rod to the other man and came around to
face our boat.
“I should report you.” David spoke calmly, but I could tell
by the red flush beginning to work its way up his neck that he
was furious.
“Really? You think you have a private claim to these waters,
do you? It was a mistake. Like my man here said, we thought
you were safely on shore. No one got hurt. What’s your

Lesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in upstate New York.  In the winter she migrates to old Florida—cowboys, scrub palmetto, and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office, and gators make golf a contact sport.  Back north, the shy ghost inhabiting the cottage serves as her literary muse.  When not writing, she gardens, cooks and renovates the 1874 cottage with the help of her husband, two cats and, of course, Fred the ghost, who gives artistic direction to their work.

She is the author of a number of mystery series and mysteries as well as short stories.  A Sporting Murder follows the first two books in the Eve Appel mystery series, A Secondhand Murder and Dead in the Water      

Visit her on her website:

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Friday's Featured Suthors


Want a quick read for the summer? Seven authors have come together to create short stories that touch your heart.


Entangled Summer by Michele Barrow-Belisle
They say our dreams mask hidden secrets. Secret desires. Secret fears. Secret lives. 20 year old Nora Dultry’s dreams hide even more. They’re a gateway to the man of her dreams and an escape from her painful past. She’s fantasized about him for years, and when he magically walks into her summer teaching gig, she never dreamed she’d question whether he was the one she truly wanted. But her former fling Troy Belassaro doesn’t just own Wanderlust Academy... he’s her boss, he still has her heart strings tied in knots, and he’s hiding secrets of his own. One of them will be her dream come true, one her waking nightmare. Untangling the truth could make this summer job, her last.

Love Me Like You Do by Bonnie Bliss writing as L. Kirk
After being unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend on Valentine's’ Day Daisy Philips jumps to the defense of mysterious loner, Jason Lancaster. Jason hasn’t spoken to anyone since he came to the High School three years ago. But that day he speaks to Daisy.

Daisy is a dancer with her heart set on Juilliard, but a family secret threatens that path. Jason is a lost soul with a path that halted three years ago. Together they create a friendship that quickly turns to romance. But a tragedy in Daisy’s life pulls them apart.

Will Jason follow Daisy to claim the love that brought him back to life and mend both their broken hearts?

Chase by Elena Dillon
Rylan Maguire has run from a dangerous situation to start her life over but she didn’t count on finding Chase Sullivan or falling for him so quickly. When their pasts tangle squarely in the present will fear win out or will her newfound courage hold?

My Best Friend’s Ex by Tina Gayle
She loved him first, but her best friend married him. Now, divorced Brooke must choose between her best friend and the man of her dreams.
Brooke Janson has loved Garrett Sawyer since she met him on her first day of high school. Now, he’s free to love her too.  Except, his ex-wife happens to be her best friend.
How can Brooke choose between a friend she’s known since kindergarten and the man her heart wants?

The Good Girl by Tracy Reed
Gabriella Townsend has been patiently waiting for her dream job.  When shes presented with the dream, its not exactly what she was expecting.  She was hoping to work her way up the corporate ladder.  Instead, one phone call and an office number on a slip of paper, lands her on the executive floor.  

After a month working for the elusive, handsome and sexy, Phillippe Marchant, he offers her a life changing assignment…the position of “girlfriend.”  Terrified of her feelings for him and the possibility of losing her job, shes not sure what to do.

Betrayal at Crater’s Edge by Kathleen Rowland
Marchand LaFond is in control:  his spy mission, his rules.  After a suspicious betrayal by a friend, he knows this time, he needs help to dispose of deadly nerve agent. The person he trusts most is his former girlfriend, Yardley Van Dyke.  She trusts him with her life but not her heart.  Nothing is as simple or complicated as his perfect kiss.
Under the uncharted sulfurous clouds on Venus, they get closer to answers—and play to win as they get closer to each other.  Will they find the poison before Vito Savage annihilates those who get in his way?

Random Acts of Violet by Geralyn Corcillo
Quietly independent Violet Parker is enjoying an uneventful summer of house-sitting, writing her thesis, and working to make ends meet. But suddenly a kid gets dumped on her doorstep, something keeps going bump in the attic, and most disturbing of all, Noah Swardguard shows up to lead a summer football program.
Noah has never succeeded in getting close to his reserved lab partner Violet. But when he sees her on campus in Julyin charge of a little girl who makes her laugh and live a littlehe wonders if maybe, just maybe, he has a chance with Violet Parker after all.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Books I have written

Charlotte Russe,  a Cozy Mystery
Second Edition

Paisley Preston, 27, a starving student, is sure to fulfill her lifelong dream: finish her PhD program and publish a children’s book. When an earthquake hits, she finds a hidden jeweled box and 1867 document worth half a million dollars. She enlists good friends to help unravel the 2 mysteries and an unsolved murder until betrayal rears its ugly head. Threats are made on her life bring danger and involvement of the LAPD, turns things upside down. The jeweled box and the document take the investigation to Russia, Brazil, New Orleans and Washington DC for research where Paisely’s dreams go to a place she never imagined.

Author's Notes
I ran into an old college roommate and reminisced about our early college days in the 1970’s. We lived in an apartment in the surfing capital of the world, Huntington Beach, California. My neighbors were people from all over; rich, poor, talented, untalented all looking for their dream. The characters of this story were born from that apartment building just a block from the beach.
A downstairs neighbor of ours, Sandy, had an inlaid wooden box she bought at a thrift store. She was unemployed and barely making it, as we all were. We were all trying to get through college. The three of us took the box to a group auction house for a free appraisal. It was worth thousands of dollars. She instantly became rich and we never saw her again. My roommate and I always wondered what happened to Sandy. I hope she had a good life.

Charlotte Russe is a dessert invented by a French chef, Antoine Carene who named it in honor of the daughter his Russian employer, Czar Alexander. It is a type of dessert served hot or cold. A container is lined with sponge cake or lady fingers. It is then layered with fruit puree and filled with custard or whipped cream. It can be complicated or simple to prepare
I remember Charlotte Russe as young girl growing up in New York in the 1950’s. A version was sold in Candy stores throughout the five boroughs of New York. The Russe was served in a paper cup layered with cake, a layer of cherry puree, then whipped cream and a cherry on top. You pushed up on the bottom of the cup as you ate. I remember going after the cherry and getting a nose full of whipped cream!

I wrote this Cookbook of recipes from my cozy mystery, Charlotte Russe, after many reader request for the food cooked, served and enjoyed by the characters in my novels.

Charlotte Russe
3 pkgs. ladyfingers
1 c. sugar
1 c. whipping cream
12 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. vanilla
Raspberry sauce (recipe follows)
Line a 10” spring-form pan with ladyfingers, sides and bottom. Reserve rest of ladyfingers. Soften the cream cheese and with electric mixer, cream the cheese, sugar and vanilla. Whip the cream (or use 2 cups Cool Whip and fold into the cream cheese mixture). Layer half of cream cheese mixture on top of the ladyfingers and top with more fingers and finish with the cream cheese. Cover and chill.
Raspberry Sauce
1 (10 oz.) package of frozen raspberries
tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Kirsch liqueur or cooking sherry

(Continue from previous page)
Defrost the berries, combine all and strain, (if you don’t like the seeds). Pour over the Charlotte Russe.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Friday's Featured Author

Crafty Crimes
A Trio of Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mini-Mysteries
Lois Winston

An anthology of three Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mini-Mysteries, companions to the critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series.

Crewel Intentions
Crafts editor and reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack receives a desperate phone call from former American Woman fashion editor Erica Milano. Erica is now in Witness Protection and living under a new identity in Western Pennsylvania. But someone is stalking her, and Erica has compelling reasons why she can’t go to the police or notify her Witsec handlers. Anastasia is the only person she can trust to help her, and she knows Anastasia won’t let her down. After all, Erica once saved Anastasia’s life. But will Anastasia be able to return the favor before the stalker strikes?

Mosaic Mayhem
So much for a romantic getaway...When cash-strapped mom and reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack is offered an all-expense paid three-day trip to Barcelona, her only worries are whether her passport is still valid and arranging care for her semi-invalid mother-in-law during her absence. However, within hours of landing in Europe, she finds herself staring down the barrel of a gun and needing to convince a Spanish crime syndicate they’ve got the wrong person. Why do people on both sides of the Atlantic keep trying to kill this pear-shaped, middle-aged single mom, and magazine crafts editor?

Patchwork Peril
After rescuing her elderly neighbor Rosalie’s quilts from a rainstorm, crafts editor Anastasia Pollack discovers Rosalie unconscious at the bottom of her basement stairs. Rosalie’s estranged niece Jane arrives to care for her during her recovery, but Rosalie suspects Jane’s motives are less than altruistic, going so far as to accuse Jane of trying to kill her. Is Rosalie’s paranoia a result of her head injury, or is there something more to her accusations? And can Anastasia uncover the truth before it’s too late?

Where to buy:

USA Today bestselling, award-winner author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and non-fiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.

Twitter: @ansleuth