Friday, October 16, 2020

 Greetings, everybody!

I'm not a prolific blogger, as you can clearly see if you scroll down a post and look at the date (you don't have to do that, seriously, it's embarrassing), but I do tweet and am fairly active on Goodreads.

I'll just leave some links here in case you want to connect with me.

And I wouldn't be a writer worth her salt if I didn't ask for you to leave reviews of my books, so please leave reviews of my books!

I hope you've enjoyed my stories or will enjoy my stories (or both)!






Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Queen's Quest has been released!

#5 in the Ella Westin mysteries.

Check it out at Smashwords, Amazon, Apple and many other places.

Ella Westin is tasked with investigating a haunted house – though she doesn’t believe in such things. A clue leads her straight into the heart of a plot to rob the Port Bass Museum. Can she catch the thieves or will she become one of them?

This is the fifth story in the Ella Westin Mysteries and is 30,644 words - only 99 cents!!!!

Order your copy today!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Saturday, July 25, 2015

'Married To Murder' & 'Masked Rider: Origins' On Sale Through July 31, 2015

I've taken advantage of the Smashwords July Summer/Winter Sale, and I've put two stories on sale.

Married To Murder, the Ella Westin series starter, is FREE through July 31, 2015.
Just enter the code "SW100" at checkout.


If you like Married To Murder, be sure to continue reading with Honeymoon Homicide 99¢.

Ella is awakened in the middle of the night by her new husband. But it's not what you think – he wants her to solve a murder. At 4 a.m. Can she do it? Or will she add another homicide to her honeymoon?

This is the second story in the Ella Westin Mysteries.

8,383 words.


Need more Ella? Try Toxic Train 99¢!

When a fellow train passenger is murdered right in front of her eyes, newlywed Ella Westin thinks it's great that all the suspects are trapped with her. But when she can't check out backgrounds or confirm motives - or lack of - she soon finds herself in over her head. 

Then an unthinking Joe seems more determined to sabotage Ella's efforts than the murderer. Will she be able to solve the case before a second death occurs? Did the murderer engineer too good a crime for even Ella's skills? Can she track the criminal or will she be derailed before she can put her plan in motion? If the couple survive, is this just the beginning of a toxic relationship?

This is the third story in the Ella Westin Mysteries.

19,968 words.


Now you can pre-order the fourth installment of the Ella Westin Mysteries at Barnes and Noble or the Apple store!

Unpacking the Undertaker - 99¢

Ella is back from her honeymoon and is moving into her new home. She unpacked a particularly heavy crate and got a nasty shock. All she wanted to do was put her books on the bookshelf. Is it too late to close the crate and send it back?

#4 in the Ella Westin Mysteries coming December 27, 2015


Can't get enough of Ella's"retired" pirate father-in-law?
Read Ella & Jasper Shorts for FREE.

When Ella marries Joe Westin, she inherits a father-in-law who gets her into more trouble than the bad guys. As a former thief turned government agent, Ella thinks she’s up for any assignment that comes her way, but Jasper Westin just might be more than she can handle.

In Ernest Effort, a parrot-keeper is kidnapped, and a dangerous pirate orders Ella to find his son immediately. Not one to give in to demands, Ella makes an announcement that stuns everyone.

In Missing Monkey, Jasper’s cohorts have misplaced their pet monkey, but the primate isn't the only thing that’s vanished. Ella needs to track the monkey down before nightfall or Jasper will pay the consequences.

In Close Quarters, Ella is in a grim predicament—she and Jasper are about to be hanged for murder, and while she’s armed to the teeth, the only weapon at her disposal is her tongue. What could go wrong?

Set in the 1820s, these three quick reads offer a fun glimpse into Ella’s new family life.

Ernest Effort (2,205 words)
Missing Monkey (1,479 words)
Close Quarters (3,500 words)


And if you can't get enough of Westins in general, check out Masked Rider: Origins - also on sale through July 31, 2015. 50% off!
Just enter the code "SSW50" at checkout.

Friday, January 9, 2015

'Except the Dying' by Maureen Jennings

"In the middle of the bitterly cold winter of 1895 in Toronto, the naked body of a young servant girl has recently been discovered in a deserted laneway. Detective William Murdoch must determine the reason why she died under such miserable circumstances. To catch his criminal, Murdoch crosses the class lines of a society that still clings to a British hierarchical system, and behind the chenille curtains of the wealthy, he uncovers personalities capable of committing ugly crimes."
-Book Description

My Review:

I fell in love with the Murdoch Mysteries TV show and saw it was based on novels. So I decided to read the first novel and checked out reviews on Goodreads to see how the books were. The show is a bit graphic in the autopsy room and I wondered if the books were gory. What people said was, 'if you like the TV show, you'll love the books'.

Those people could not be more wrong.

I don't get it. The show has a fine sense of humor. Murdoch is known for trying out cutting edge techniques in law enforcement. Constable George Crabtree is a young man, fresh-faced, unmarried, always coming up with crazy theories and loyal almost to a fault. (I crave 'George-theories'! Like when a body was discovered in a tree with no footprints anywhere. No one can figure it out. Murdoch and George talk about it and George says, "Most of my conclusions I've had to rule out due to sheer impossibility but the most feasible solution I've come to is that he was shot out of a canon." I fell in love with him just a little bit more when he said that.)

In the books, Murdoch just goes around town asking people about their whereabouts. He uses almost no other technique to find the murderer. He doesn't like anybody he works with, except Crabtree, who gets maybe five minutes in the book. Crabtree is a massive fellow with about six kids. There is no humor that I could discern.

The book was very well written, I just didn't like it. Not only was I expecting a similar experience to the show (since the show is based on the books and since reviews indicated they were alike) and quite disappointed that didn't pan out.

The book was harsh and I'm not talking about the weather. (A girl is found dead in the snow during a bitter winter in Toronto. I read it while we, here in Chicago, were having another day of 30 below zero, wind chill.) The attitude toward women is deplorable. The language used throughout the book is callous. I'm not easily offended but 255 pages of reading about how woman are barely good for one thing left a nasty taste in my mouth.

All the characters smelled, almost all of them were dirty, living in awful conditions and the overall feel of the book was depressing and morose. Furthermore, every single person in the book is sick, either physically or mentally, except for one man introduced toward the end. This is not a cheerful book. I'm not saying it should be, I just don't understand how the show came from it and why other people stated I'd like it.

Try for yourself if you like, my only problems are personal preference so go for it. Make up your own mind.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

'A Christmas Arrangement' by Annie Adams

About the book:
"It's Christmastime in Hillside, but there's a lack of holiday spirit for flower shop owner Quincy McKay. She's in charge of the town festival and her shop's open house, but her Santa's a no-show and her flower cooler is on the fritz. To make matters worse, she's learned her ex-husband isn't as ex as she'd thought. Just when she thought things couldn't get any worse, her boyfriend, hot cop Alex Cooper announces his parents are coming to town.

Alex Cooper is the perfect man in Quincy's book, but unfortunately his mother thinks so too. And no woman is perfect enough for her perfect son, but especially not the weird flower shop girl who works too much, can't cook and who she catches kissing another man in the department store. And what's this she hears about Quincy being married? Eleanor Cooper must help her son dodge a bullet (and not the kind from his job) during the romantic holiday season to prevent him from being ensnared in a regrettable relationship.

Quincy's dignity (of which lately she's in short supply), her reputation, and every business in town are riding upon the success of the city's Christmas celebration. If she can figure out a way to make it work despite failing equipment, helpers dropping out of the picture as fast as snowflakes in a blizzard, a troubling and inappropriate Secret Santa, and the possibility of arrest, she might win the respect of everyone in the town, but more importantly, Alex's parents.

If Alex can survive his loving but meddling mother until Christmas, and keep Quincy safe from her crazy ex-husband, with a little help from the MLM (Mormon Ladies Mafia), and K.C. the she-Santa, he'll arrange for the perfect holiday for himself and the woman who has captured his heart.
My Review:
     A Christmas Arrangement was fun - an entertaining read. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in this book. Now, this is unfair to the author, but I was really annoyed at first because I was under the impression it was a cozy mystery when in fact, it’s a light-hearted, humorous romance. Part of my confusion was due to the fact I found this book in a cozy mystery thread on Goodreads, and the other part was because this is part of a mystery series. But, I enjoyed the story so much that I dropped my annoyance of waiting for a victim, waiting for a murder investigation, waiting for what I thought was foreshadowing and clues to pan out – that when I finished reading, I went straight to the first book in this series, The Final Arrangement.

     Some of the crazy situations Quincy (the main character) got into were so far-fetched you knew they were contrived (breaking that fourth wall) but Quincy was such a delight to read that I didn’t mind. The humor was seamless, the action gripping, the suspense delicious and the characters awesome.

     I loved this story!