Book Review: “Murder They Wrote” An Anthology of Short Fiction. @MaeClair1 @virgilante @judypost @KathleenPalm @DawnDun66350980 #IARTG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a welcome to my BOOK REVIEW of “Murder They Wrote” An Anthology of Short Fiction. Seven great stories from seven talented authors. You’ll read shorts from these folks  Mae Clair ,C.S. Boyack, Judi Lynn, Julia Donner, Kathleen Palm D.P. Reisig and Rachel Sherwood Roberts

Murder They Wrote by [Judi Lynn, C.S. Boyack, Mae Clair, Kathleen Palm, Julia Donner, D.P. Reisig, Rachel Sherwood Roberts]

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Seven great ways to spend your reading time! A superb collection of Mystery Shorts from an eclectic selection of authors and disciplines.

I knew I was in for a treat when I began reading this anthology. You can’t go wrong with such a diversity of authors and genres. If you enjoy Speculative/fantasy fiction, cozy mysteries, Regency,  Ghost stories, and more don’t miss this chance to see each featured here.

It was pure pleasure to read selections from two authors I’m already a huge fan of, namely Mae Clair and C.S Boyack.  Mae Clair delivered my favorite of the collection, “A Winter Reckoning” This one is outside the genre I’ve come to expect from this author and she has nailed it. A beautifully written and totally engaging read.
Craig Boyack “From the Files of Jason Fogg” Allowed me to return to see  already familiar characters doing their thing. 

The introduction to authors I was previously unaquainted with has me now following them all on Amazon.

If you want a riveting reading experience, and a way to indulge yourself with a few hours of great escapism you need to add Murder They Wrote to your Must Read list.


‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #14 Entries Part 1) John Howell @HowellWave and Suzanne Burke @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Part 1)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #14.

Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 1)By John Howell and Entry 2) My own contribution.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.


Entry 1) This one-line contribution by John Howell.

“Okay cue the volcano, comet, black hole, the hydrogen bomb, and ignite in four….”

John Howell can be reached here …

Visit at Amazon.


Author Blog Fiction Favorites:


Entry 2) My Own Contribution.




Suzanne Burke

“Do we have everything we need?”

“I’m certain of it. But you do understand that there’s no going back if we do this?”

“I understand completely. Just do it. It’s time.”


L.A.P.D headquarters. October 7th.

The man walked in and greeted the familiar desk sergeant with a smile. “Hey, Marty. How you doin’?”

Marty stood and extended his hand, “How the hell are you, lieutenant?”

“It been a while now since I’ve been a lieutenant, buddy.”

“So, what brings you down here?”

“I need to see Captain Farmer about a client of mine. Can do?”

“I’ll give him a call.”


Fifteen minutes later Tommy Leonetti was ushered into his old boss’s office.

Greetings were exchanged and the captain arranged for coffee. He sat and nodded toward his friend. “So, who’s the client, and what are you concerned about?”

“Tiffany Ames. I’ve been her personal bodyguard for over a year now. She’s missed three interviews this week, and I can’t raise her on her cell phone. I can’t contact her husband either. His P.A says he’s gone to his New York studios to begin work on his next album. He left late Friday night.”

“She seems way too classy to be married to that ego-driven superstar Kennedy Ames. So, how long since anyone has seen her?”

“I showed her up to their city penthouse at around 8.30 p.m. Friday. I arrived at 8.00 a.m. the next morning. The security desk advised me that they’d been told by her husband that Tiffany had a bad migraine and wouldn’t be going out for a few days. So, I headed home and waited for a phone call. It didn’t come. I started checking around. Old habits die hard.” He laughed.

“The migraine thing, was it a common occurrence?”

“First I’d heard of it. Nobody at the apartment complex has seen her since Friday night. That’s going on four days now. There’s no CCTV footage showing her exiting the building after I dropped her home.”

“Funny how CCTV footage can magically disappear if you got enough money.”

“My gut instincts are screaming on this one, buddy. It feels bad. I need you guys to take a damned good look at that penthouse.”

“If I can’t reach the husband, I’ll need a warrant. I’ll get on that now. I miss those damned instincts of yours.”


Penthouse Apartment:

Captain Harvey Farmer knocked hard on the door and waited. He turned to the head of building security. “You have the warrant. Unlock the door.”

The team spread out.

Captain Farmer sniffed at the air. “This room stinks of bleach.”

He stood back and slowly surveyed the room. Everything matched, all the colors were either soft greens or blues. The red rug in front of the coffee table looked out of place. He lifted one corner of it with gloved hands, the stench of bleach flooded his nostrils. “I need samples bagged and tagged. Someone’s attempted to clean the scene.” He reached down with the tweezers. The corner of the coffee table had blood and strands of blonde hair clinging to it. “No prizes for guessing whose DNA is gonna be all over this.  I want this scene nailed tight. This gets out, we’ll have paparazzi coming at us like sharks in a feeding frenzy.”


Eight Days Later:

Tommy Leonetti sat nursing a whiskey and flicked on the television.  The breaking news caught his attention. The CNN reporter failed to hide her excitement.

“In a shocking twist to the recent disappearance of Tiffany Ames, the following images are now flooding social media. Viewer discretion is advised. These images may be confronting.”

The screen filled with photographs of Tiffany Ames all of them showing clear evidence of a severe beating.

“Images of other females in the same condition have also been leaked. We have unconfirmed reports that Rock Superstar Kennedy Ames has been taken in for questioning in relation to his wife’s disappearance, and for the alleged violence perpetrated on several other women who have now come forward. More news as it comes to hand.”

Tommy reached for his phone and punched in the number.


One year later:

The long court case ended. Kennedy Ames was charged with aggravated assault against seven women. He was sentenced to ten years. In the absence of Tiffany Ames’s body, the jury had no choice but to hand down the not guilty verdict on the suspected homicide.

He’d do hard time in prison. His fellow inmates would make sure of it. His reputation was in tatters and his career was over.


Tommy Leonetti climbed from the seaplane and walked to the edge of the lake.

He heard her singing as she dangled her feet in the water.

“It’s been a very long year, my darling.”

Tiffany Ames stood and ran into his arms. “We did it, Tommy! Oh, God, we did it. He’s ruined!”

“Can we lay your kid foster sister to rest now?”

“Finally. Every woman that monster ever mistreated will sleep better now. I know I will … but later.” She kissed him. “Much later.”


Thanks so much for joining me here today. I look forward to seeing your comments.

I may be reached here …

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‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week#14 NEW Image Prompt. Join in the fun! @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and welcome to my weekly “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!”  Week #14 Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Please put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at My email address. by DEADLINE: 4pm EDT on Thursday,  Subject: Fiction in a Flash Challenge. If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be much appreciated.

UPDATE: The response to the prompts has been just wonderful. As a result, I’ll be sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here AS I RECEIVE THEM. Rather than posting all of them only over a few days.  Thanks to everyone for the amazing support.

Here is the week #14 Image Prompt.

FREE Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

I hope the image inspires you! Come and join in the fun.

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Book Review: “Roundabout: a modern-day Vanity Fair by Gerry McCullough @gerry1098 #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello and a warm welcome to my book review of “Roundabout: a modern Vanity Fair” a NEW release By Gerry McCullough.

Let’s meet Gerry.

Gerry bio pic

Gerry McCullough has been writing poems and stories since childhood. Brought up in north Belfast, she graduated in English and Philosophy from Queen’s University, Belfast, then went on to gain an MA in English.

She lives just outside Belfast, in Northern Ireland, has four grown up children and is married to author, media producer and broadcaster, Raymond McCullough, with whom she co-edited the Irish magazine, ‘Bread’, (published by Kingdom Come Trust), from 1990-96. In 1995 they published a non-fiction book called, ‘Ireland – now the good news!’

Over the past few years Gerry has had more than sixty short stories published in UK, Irish and American magazines, anthologies and annuals – as well as broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster. Her poems and articles have been published in several Northern Ireland and UK magazines, and she has also done readings from her novels, poems and short stories at several Irish literary events. She writes a regular literary blog – Gerry’s Books – and guest writes for several other literary blogs.

Gerry won the Cúirt International Literary Award for 2005 (Galway); was shortlisted for the 2008 Brian Moore Award (Belfast); shortlisted for the 2009 Cúirt Award; commended in the 2009 Seán O’Faolain Short Story Competition, (Cork) and commended in the 2015 Harmony House Poetry Award (Downpatrick).

Gerry currently (2020) has a total of sixteen books in publication –

Cover ROUNDABOUT by Gerry McCullogh


A novel set in Ireland, with no hero or heroine – love, comedy, drama – life!

Millie and Sooze set out on their separate ventures into life, meeting Josh, Danny, Johnny, Tommy and others.

For some of these people, their ride on the roundabout of life ends well – for others it doesn’t.

Is there more to life’s roundabout than pleasure or misery?

MY REVIEW: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ If you want an entertaining and thought-provoking read this is the book for you.

Do these complex characters gain happiness and security on life’s journey … or rather should they gain them? Do they accomplish those benefits by being selfless and good, or by acting in their own selfish self-interests? The themes of loyalty without hope of gain are questioned in this thought-provoking new read by author Gerry McCullough.

The author once more takes you to Northern Island and the descriptions color that world wonderfully well for the reader.

The pivotal characters of Millie and Sooze are beautifully fleshed out and clearly visible as they undertake a life as friends that neither one of them initially anticipated. The dialogue is rich, and the interactions between all the characters make for entertaining reading.

This author shows a depth of empathy with these people she’s created, this brings the book alive.

If you want an entertaining and thought-provoking read this is the book for you. I highly recommend it.

Gerry may be found here …



Roundabout on GoodReads

Gerry McCullough
Irish Writer & Poet



‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week 9. Entries Part 3–Entry number 4) by @KIngallsAuthor #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 3)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #9.

Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 4)  by Karen Ingalls.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

Flash Fiction week 9 another good treehouse



Karen Ingalls

Matt had all the money one person could ever want or need. He inherited his parent’s fortune and estate where he lived alone in the 5-bedroom, 6-bath home complete with a swimming pool, putting green, and tennis court on forty acres of woods.

He wore gold necklaces, a Rolex watch, and a gold bracelet. His hair was always perfectly cut, he wore the finest designer clothes, and drove the latest Porsche model. All the gold could not buy Matt happiness. He was too much like his father who treated Matt’s mother cruelly and lived by his version of the Golden Rule: he who has the gold rules.

One evening, Matt and his father were driving the windy road leading to the estate. They both were drunk and were going too fast. Matt lost control of the car, went down a 50-foot embankment, and crashed into a large pine tree. Matt was thrown from the car but his father was trapped and died in the burning car.

Matt was haunted by nightmares and blamed himself for the accident. His only way of coping was to lash out even more at others, especially women. His sadistic actions often left the women with bruises. He would charm them at first flashing his money and buying them expensive gifts. However, when he made sexual demands on them that they did not agree to, he lashed out with intense anger.

Deep in the pine forest of his estate, he had a treehouse built. It was charming and comfortable though not large or ostentatious. Many were the nights that women screamed from pain or ran down the swinging bridge to escape Matt’s anger.

One stormy night, one young woman ran screaming from the treehouse. Matt laughed at her as he watched her scramble through the forest half-naked. “Good riddance,” he yelled from the small balcony.

When he went back into the treehouse, he began to hear the sounds of many women and his father screaming, “help me.” He looked around the room, but no one was there. The screams grew louder.

Matt ran to the door but it was locked and there was no escaping the living nightmare. He covered his ears and ran into the bedroom, but the screams could not be stopped. The wind howled and the tree branches tore at the little cabin. Like giant hands, they pushed and pulled until the tree house crumbled and fell to the ground. Matt was trapped under the timbers and could not move. His cries for help went unheard. For days and nights, he laid there, suffering from physical pain and hearing the non-stop screams.

He died alone with only his gold necklace around his neck which now brought him no comfort or joy.


Karen can be reached at …

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook


Thanks so much for stopping by.  I’ll be featuring Part 4) Entry 5) by Mae Clair later today.

Find me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

On Facebook

On Goodreads.

By Email.

‘Fiction In A Flash Challenge” Week #9 … Entries Part 1) @HowellWave & @pursoot #IARTG #ASMSG #WritingCommunity

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to PART 1)  of the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week #9.

Today I’m featuring contributions from entry 1) John Howell  2) My own Contribution.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge!” Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in any format and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Here is the image prompt.

Flash Fiction week 9 another good treehouse

  1. This one-line contribution by John Howell.


“We prefer to describe it to clients as cozy rather than Lilliputian, Smithe.”

John can be reached here:

Visit at Amazon.


Author Blog Fiction Favorites:


My Own Contribution:

Flash Fiction week 9 another good treehouse



Suzanne Burke

Tina pulled the RV into the secure parking bay, checked her paperwork, and presented it to the guard. He took his time looking at her and matching her I.D, then he handed it back with a smile. “I don’t envy you. Your latest client is on every major hit list in the country.”

“That just makes the work more interesting.” She rolled her brown eyes and laughed.

“I’ll have him escorted through.”


Frank Donelli could be heard complaining before he even entered the area. “What’s with the handcuffs?”

The woman replied, “They’ll be removed when we reach the safe house.”

“And just where is this safe house?”

“You have no need to know the exact location. The Witsec program doesn’t allow for you to have a choice in the matter. We’ll select whichever source gives us maximum cover.”


“No buts. You’ve just turned States Evidence on Vitorrio Trimboli. You’re a very popular target right now, Frank.”  She opened the passenger door. “Climb in. There’s no time for arguments.”

Three hours later the RV pulled to a stop. The woman used the two-way radio and spoke clearly, “On approach. Do you have visual?”

“We have you on Drone image. The perimeter is clear, the location is secure. Proceed.”

“Copy that.”

Frank Bonello had been asleep in the passenger seat for a few hours, He woke up with a start as the woman poked his arm. “Wake up. We’ve arrived.”

The man looked out and then turned back to the FBI agent. “A Treehouse? A Fucking treehouse! You’re shitting me, right?”

“No, Frank, I’m not. Pull up the hoodie and put on these sunglasses.” She handed them across. “Stay behind me. Keep your mouth shut till we’re inside. Nod if you understand!”

The man turned red in the face and seemed about to explode, but he took a closer look at his companion’s eyes and nodded.

They crossed the heavily treed ground and climbed the stairs to access the swaying bridge that led them to the open front door of the treehouse. She entered alone and swept the room, satisfied herself that they were clear, and shoved her guest ahead of her. “Sit there on that bunk.” She swung her duffle bag onto the small kitchen bench and took a long slow look around. She extracted a bottle and a paper-cup from the bag.

“You need to settle those nerves, Frank.” The woman held up the bottle. “My research says this is your favorite.”

“Yeah, a twelve-year-old malt whiskey would be good right now.”

The woman filled his cup.

“What, you’re not joining me in a drink?”

“I never indulge when I’m working. Besides my nerves are just fine. But, you need to chill out. I aim to get you to trial in one piece.”

“You can take care of me right?”

“Oh, yes. I’ll take good care of you, Frank.”

The man nodded his head vigorously and raised his cup. “So, what do I call you?”

“For now you can call me Tina.” She said as she poured him another good measure of whiskey. “This close proximity doesn’t make for too much formality. But don’t cross the line. Understood?”

“Yeah, yeah. I’ll behave myself.” He finished his drink in one gulp and reached for the bottle.

“Can you hold your liquor, Frank?”

The man laughed, “I’ve got an iron-clad gut, or so I’ve been told.”

Tina smiled at him. “Glad to hear it. I’ll fix us something to eat shortly, bring your drink with you and I’ll show you around.”

It had only taken a minute to cover the inside and Tina led them out onto the small deck. She looked around at the surroundings and gave a sigh of satisfaction. “It’s almost perfect here.”

“Depends on your definition of perfect. For me, I like my mansion and my infinity pool.”

He held out his cup.

“I’ll fix you another drink back inside. It’s a little chilly out here.”

One hour later Frank attempted to rise from his bunk and fell to his knees moaning and clutching at his stomach. “Jesus. What is this? I can’t feel my legs? I can’t stand up!” He threw up as he spoke. “Tina, help me, somethings wrong! My eyesight … my eyesight has gone, Fuck! What’s happening? Help me!”

Tina leaned down and grabbed him by the throat. “Poison is so appropriate for a rat. My name is Christina Trimboli. My Godfather sends you his wishes for a long, slow, and excruciatingly painful death.”

Christina watched the man die in agony.When satisfied that no sign of life remained, she signaled the others, “Message delivered. Let’s move out.” She kicked the corpse and removed a dead rodent from the duffle bag. She fashioned a twine noose around its neck and hung it in the doorway. No one could mistake the motive for Frank’s murder… or the message.

Tina exited the property with her team. Somedays coming to work was pure pleasure. She whistled happily as they left the vicinity.


Find me at …

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Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tomorrow I’ll be featuring entry 3) by Gerry McCullough.


“Fiction In A Flash Challenge” Week #5 … Entries 1-3. @KIngallsAuthor @gmplano @pursoot #IARTG #WritingCommunity

Flash Fiction best header

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to the entries for my weekly: “Fiction in A Flash Challenge” Week 5.

Last week I set the following Challenge:

Hello everyone and welcome to my new “Fiction in A Flash Challenge! Each week I’ll be featuring an image and inviting you to write a Flash Fiction or Non-Fiction piece inspired by that image in a form and genre of your choosing.  Maximum word count: 750 words.

Please put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at My email address. by 4pm EDT on June 18th. Subject: Fiction in a Flash Challenge. If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be much appreciated.

I’ll be sharing all entries received, and, my own contribution here on June 19th.

 Here is the prompt image and ENTRIES 1-2 and 3…For #Week 5.

Entries 4 and 5 will be featured tomorrow.

flash best marionette


#1 …This contribution by Gwen Plano:

My contribution is a Tanka poem, a 31 syllable poem known for its five lines of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables. The photo prompt is the figure in the bottom left corner.

Flash week 5 Gwen Plano Tanka june 25th 2020

You’ll find Gwen here:

Reflections on Life … Blog.

Author Page: Gwen Plano on Amazon

On Twitter.

Gwen Plano on Facebook.



#2 … This contribution by Karen Ingalls.

flash best marionette

For this challenge, I have written my first Haiku poem, which is a short form of Japanese poetry. It consists of three lines, with seventeen syllables divided into 5/7/5 syllables. I hope you enjoy it.

Karen Ingalls can be found on

Karen Ingalls Blog.

On Twitter:

Karen Ingalls Author Page Amazon

On Facebook


#3. My own contribution:

flash best marionette

‘The Puppeteer’.


Suzanne Burke

“Our audience will arrive soon, my pretty one. We must give them a show they’ll always remember.” The man looked down at her from his perch on the step ladder, “What are those grey eyes of yours asking?” His voice dropped to a cracked whisper, “Tell me.”

“ Look, I’m really sorry, but I don’t think this is my kind of assignment. I’ll give back the modeling fee. ”

The man’s laugh echoed around the basement studio. The sound made Holly shiver. “Not your kind of assignment? Trust me, my pretty one, this assignment will make you quite famous.”

Holly’s voice was tight with fear, “I’m leaving now.” Holly stood and took a close look at the ties that bound her. “These bindings need to be removed.”

“Oh, no, no you can’t go now. You’re about to be launched on the worldwide stage.”

“I said these need to be undone. Please, I, … I’m already late. I have a two-year-old daughter waiting. I just want to go home.”

“She’ll get to brag about her famous mommy.” The man turned his head and caught the beam of a flashlight shafting through the small window just below the ceiling. “Ah, perfect. Our audience has arrived.”

Holly dropped to her knees, “Please, please… whatever this is it’s not too late to stop! Please?”

She looked up to discover the gun he now held aimed at her.

“It’s far, far, too late, my pretty one. The ball’s already in play.” His voice was soft and somehow wistful.

Holly grew silent, scrambling to think clearly through the adrenaline-fuelled fear.

She heard the heavy thud of a door upstairs being rammed open, and the boots overhead moved towards the basement stairs.

“Here they come!” The Puppeteer flicked on another spotlight and illuminated his stage; he moved with assured steps to stand behind his living marionette. Holly felt the gun barrel of the Glock placed against her left temple. She moaned in fear.

Seconds later the basement door was forced open, “FBI … Drop the weapon! Do it now!”

“Oh, no…no, I don’t think so. You aren’t about to risk me getting a shot off before your bullets take me out of play. You can’t let ‘The Puppeteer’ add another victim to the list. You’d kiss goodbye any hope of furthering your career.  He laughed. “I believe that gives me the advantage.”

“Let’s calm this situation the fuck down. What is it you want?”

“Ah, of course, and you’d be the hostage negotiator?”

“Declan O’Connor. Talk to me. Let’s all walk away from this with no bloodshed. Now, what will it take for you to cut her loose and let her walk over here?”

“Oh, nothing much. I’m thinking a Presidential Pardon would suit me nicely. My very own ‘get out of jail free’ card.”

“Not about to happen. Not with the sixteen females you’ve butchered. Now ask me for something I can do.”

“I don’t need anything else. Pity. She’s quite pretty.”

Declan O’Connor whispered into his mouthpiece, “Do it now!”

The Puppeteer screamed as the sniper’s bullet came through the small window and removed three fingers and the gun from his right hand.

NO! NO! You, damned fools! You are meant to kill me! There’s no glory in this.”

Declan O’Connor now cradled a sobbing Holly in his arms, he looked over as his men took charge of their prisoner. “We’d already figured you didn’t plan on this ending well. Sixteen cases and you have never made a mistake that could lead us straight to you. Except for this time.” Declan gave Holly’s shoulder a squeeze as the paramedics helped the shaking woman onto a stretcher.

He walked over to man the press had labeled The Puppeteer as another paramedic dressed his wound. “Pity you didn’t commit one of your atrocities in a state that still upholds the death penalty. But, in many ways, it’s far more satisfying to know you’ll do life without any hope of parole. The best news is that we’ll see to it that you’ll do that time in the general population of a maximum-security facility.”

“I’ll plead insanity.”

“Nah … won’t happen. Every psychologist and psychiatrist that has read the case files will testify that these murders were at the hand of someone sufficiently in charge of his faculties to plan meticulously and enact pre-meditated murder. I for one look forward to seeing you live to enjoy your sentence, for as long as it takes for another inmate to kill you. They all have sisters’ mothers and sweethearts. Pity is you won’t last awfully long.

The Puppeteer began screaming as he was shackled and shoved into the waiting van.

Declan addressed his team. “Great work, people. Let’s meet up for drinks after the debriefing. I’m buying!”


Holly said a grateful prayer that night as she cradled her daughter in her arms.


I look forward to sharing entries 4 and 5 with you tomorrow.

Thanks so much for stopping by. The Challenge Photo-Prompt for Week #6 will be posted on Saturday, June 27th.

Contact me at …

My author page on AMAZON.

On Twitter.

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On Goodreads.








Book Review: “Eventide: (A Hodes Hill Novel Book 3.)” by Mae Clair @maeclair1 @StoryEmpire #IARTG #WritingCommunity

Hello and welcome to my first Book Review of 2020. “Eventide: (A Hode’s Hill Novel Book 3) by Mae Clair. 



Please meet the Author: Mae Clair.

bio pic mae clair
Mae Clair

A member of the Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers, Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that weave contemporary elements of mystery and suspense with urban legend and folklore. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania, and is passionate about writing, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.



The darkness is coming . . .

The old house near Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania is a place for Madison Hewitt to start over—to put the trauma of her husband’s murder, and her subsequent breakdown, behind her. She isn’t bothered by a burial plot on the property, or the mysterious, sealed cistern in the basement. Not at first. Even the presence of cold spots and strange odors could be fabrications of her still troubled mind. But how to explain her slashed tires, or the ominous messages that grow ever more threatening?

Convinced the answer lies in the past, Madison delves into the history of the home’s original owners, only to discover the origin of a powerful evil. An entity that may be connected to a series of gruesome attacks that have left police baffled. No matter where she turns—past or present—terror lingers just a step away, spurred on by a twisted obsession that can only be satisfied through death…

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This book is a superb way to end this marvelous series. Five Star reading all the way.

Author Mae Clair has the wonderful ability to combine the darkness and secrets of times past with the terrifying occurrences of the present, and she does it seamlessly. I’ve read and loved Books 1 and 2 of this series and this one is such an intensely satisfying conclusion. It can also be easily read as a stand-alone novel.

It’s such a pleasure to read a book from an author who so clearly loves what she is creating.
That talent shines through every paragraph.

Madison Hewitt is struggling to survive the trauma of her recent past, and desperately in search of peace of mind and new beginnings. The character becomes intensely real and made this reader want things to end well for her. She is intensely visual, as is every scene in this book. Author Mae Clair invites you in and takes you on a terrifying journey into the paranormal.  She challenges her creations to give us a reading experience that will have us coming back again and again for more.
This book is a superb way to end this marvelous series. Five Star reading all the way.

Contact Mae Clair:


Amazon Author Page:

Mystery, Suspense & Urban Legends | BookBub | Newsletter Sign-Up

Website & Blog | Goodreads

Thanks so much for joining me today! Happy New Year and Happy Reading!


Book Review: “Memoir of a Mad Woman” by Vashti Quiroz-Vega @VashtiQV #RRBC #IARTG #writingcommunity

Book Cover Memoir of a Mad Woman

Hello and welcome to my book review of “Memoir of a Mad Woman” By Vashti Quiroz-Vega.

Meet Vashti!

Vashti bio pic

Vashti Quiroz-Vega is a writer of Fantasy, Horror, and Thriller. Since she was a kid she’s always had a passion for writing and telling stories. It has always been easier for her to express her thoughts on paper.

She enjoys reading almost as much as she loves to write. Some of her favorite authors are Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Anne Rice, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and George R. R. Martin.

She enjoys making people feel an array of emotions with her writing. She likes her audience to laugh one moment, cry the next and clench their jaws after that.

When she isn’t building extraordinary worlds and fleshing out fascinating characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband JC and her Pomeranian Scribbles who is also her writing buddy.

Book Cover Memoir of a Mad Woman


A novelette from the award-winning author of The Fall of Lilith and Son of the Serpent, Vashti Quiroz-Vega.

Who can explain how madness begins?

This is the story of Emma. Reared by a religious fanatic, orphaned at a young age and sent to a mental institution and an orphanage. Molested and betrayed by the people who should be watching over her…

Who can say that madness has no logic?

During a fight, Emma’s best friend punched her in the abdomen. Since then, Emma has believed there’s something damaged inside of her.

Every month… she bleeds.
She tries to fight it all her life, but the pain and the blood return twenty-eight days later… and the cycle begins again.

But Emma, even in her madness, knows how to take care of herself.
She knows how to make things right…

You may not agree…
But, who can reason with insanity?

Read this tragic but fascinating tale and traverse the labyrinthine passages of madness.

My Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Uncompromisingly brutal and utterly riveting.

In this uncompromisingly brutal novella, author Vashti Quiroz-Vega takes you on a jagged and painful journey. Many authors stop short when it comes to writing scenes of brutality, they tend to hint at the violence and not follow through. Not this author.

She gives us all the tools to explore the depths of Emma’s damaged mind. In order for the vengeance Emma undertakes to make sense, the horrendous acts perpetrated on her helpless body and soul allowed us an insight and an understanding into her motivation.

This author shows a deep empathy in her characterizations. An enviable understanding of the demons that drive us.

An insightful look into the darker side of humanity. Emma’s betrayal was absolute … so was her revenge.

The characterizations are superb, and well developed. The visual imagery is acute.

If you’re looking for a riveting and thought provoking read don’t miss this one.

Find the author;

The Writer Next Door website.


Purchase this book on

Thanks so much for stopping by.



It’s #ReleaseDay “Whatever It Takes” the new #Psychological #Thriller by S.Burke is #NowAvailable #RRBC #RWISA #IARTG


Hello everyone and welcome to the Release Day for my latest Psychological Thriller “Whatever It Takes”.

Whatever it Takes Book Cover for all posts.


James Kincaid had it all.

He’d made it to the ‘A’ list in Hollywood, a town that prized and idolized winners above all else. Three golden statuettes currently graced the mantle of his Los Angeles mansion. Next year’s Oscars held the sweet promise of more.

Then life began exacting a price that no man could be expected to pay as the people he cared about began dying and dying badly.

He couldn’t move on with his life or the dream without knowing why.

Andi O’Connor is the woman he’d hired to do ‘whatever it takes’ to find him the answers.

Could this disenchanted, street-hardened, ex-homicide cop uncover the truth without adding to the growing list of those already sacrificed on the altar of one besotted human’s insanity?

From Hollywood to New York, the body count continues to rise. Time is not on their side.’


Today I’m celebrating the release of Whatever It Takes by introducing you to Andi O’Connor.

I had such a marvelous time creating Andi.  She was both a challenge and a joy to breathe life into.

In Chapter 1 we first meet Andi. After much soul searching she has tendered her resignation as head of crack Homicide Investigation Team with the NYPD.

Say Hello to Andi the morning after her farewell celebration.

Chapter 2.

Andi grabbed her ringing iPhone and smiled as her best friend Keiko’s number came up. She tried not to give away how hungover she was as she answered. “G’mornin, sunshine.”

“Sunshine is it? How’re you shaping up this mornin’?”

“I’d like to say great, but, it’s not pretty. Just how much did we drink last night?”

“You don’t want to know, trust me.”

“I vaguely recall a couple of the guys pouring me into a cab. Did I do anything I should have been arrested for?”

“Not unless murdering karaoke is now a capital offense. That was some farewell, girlfriend.”

“Oh, God. Really? Karaoke?”

“Well, the guys actually voted for pole dancing. I figured karaoke might be easier to live down.”

“It didn’t end well, did it?”

Keiko spluttered, “Last I saw, two of the uniformed guys went searching for duct tape.”

Andi laughed before she remembered how fragile her head was. “Oh, hell. You know I actually caught myself getting into work mode just before you rang. Then reality kicked back in.”

“You need to get away for a while, Andi. Get your head sorted.”

“Yeah. Yeah, I do. You know I’m gonna miss it. Well, some of it.”

“Have you thought through your options? You could always use that Harvard degree, girlfriend.”

“Oh hell, Keiko, I know. I need to give that a lot of thought. I always have that as an option whatever I decide to do now.  I just don’t know which direction I’m headed in yet.”

“Whatever you decide to do, you know they’ll welcome you back here with open arms.”

“Thanks, hon, but I can’t see me ever doing that. I’m not good at traveling backward.” Andi closed off discussion on that topic, “Anyways, are you on shift today?”

“No, thank God. My stomach couldn’t handle a homicide scene at the moment.”

“That’s what you get for being so good at your job.”

“Anybody can read a camera image, Andi.”

“Not everybody can find the things you find in those images. I wish I had that skill.”

“Yeah, and I’d love to head a team the way you do. Did. So let’s just admire each other’s brilliance and get on with it.”

Andi laughed, “I’m already missing you, smart-ass.”

“We’ll catch up next week. Doug’s back in town on Thursday, but that’s the only night I won’t be free for a couple of hours.”

“I’ll give you a call.”

“Okay, hon. I’ll talk to you then.”


Thanks so much for stopping by to help me celebrate my release day. I hope you enjoyed this very brief glimpse into Andi O’Connor.

Contact the author.

Whatever It Takes Now On AMAZON for $0.99

Twitter:   @pursoot



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