Monthly Archives: August 2011

Love this picture…

(Photo credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

and just had to share!

(Dog walker in New York City. Yes, they are 4 English Bulldogs.)




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Posted by on August 27, 2011 in Animals, Inspiration


Book Review: IRON HOUSE by John Hart

Even if I have the time, I seldom have the inclination to sit down and read a book from cover to cover these days. But that’s exactly what I did with John Hart’s Iron House.

I got up from my chair only to fortify myself with endless cups of tea (and to make room for more of the same!) throughout the 400-plus pages of absolute magic.

Brothers Michael and Julian spent their early childhood at Iron House, an orphanage in the mountains of North Carolina. Abuse and neglect made Michael stronger and had the opposite effect on Julian. Twenty years later, Michael attempts to trade his existence as a Mob enforcer for the opportunity to have a real life, with a real family. But criminals intent on revenge, and the twisted secrets of people linked to Iron House, toss Michael into a gripping and torturous series of events.

None of the main characters in Iron House is perfect. In fact, each of them is seriously flawed. Hart, however, painted their portraits in such a way you couldn’t help identifying with them and cheering them on–even when their goals and methods weren’t conventional. Hart also used his characters to delve into the subjects of evil, survival, and triumph.

Hart’s characterization  is subtle. In a big sense, I realized where the characters were going and why. This ability to predict the overall plot would have spoiled the reading if it were another book or writer. Hart’s characters, however, contain infinite layers of motivation; nothing in this story about how two men survived childhood abuse and neglect was simple and straightforward. Although, I realized where the plot was going, the highway Hart drove me down took sideroads and detours that were entirely unpredictable. On one page I knew what would happen next … and it didn’t. If I suspected what a villain woud do, he did … only in a more horrific way than I could have imagined.

If you’re looking for a read that combines roller-coaster action with heart-stopping characters, pick up Iron Horse. And then, like me, go out and buy one (or all) of Hart’s other books!

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Posted by on August 20, 2011 in Book Review, Mystery, Thriller, Writing


BOOK GIVEAWAY: No Rest for the Wicked by Elizabeth C. Main

No Rest for the Wicked, a mystery written by Elizabeth C. Main, is being released today.  In honor of the occasion, which happens to fall on my wedding anniversary, Elizabeth and I are teaming up for this book giveaway.

NO REST FOR THE WICKED (Five Star, August 2011) – “In Main’s winning second Jane Serrano mystery . . . Jane adds some intelligent sleuthing . . . to unmask the murderer in this fun, spotlessly clean cozy.” Publishers Weekly

MURDER OF THE MONTH (Five Star, 2005; Lava River Press, 2011) – “…entertaining and enjoyable.” Mystery Scene Magazine

To find out more about the author and her books, visit Elizabeth’s website at:

To enter the book giveaway:

  • Leave a comment here;
  • And be sure to check back by 09/01/2011, when I’ll announce the winner.



Posted by on August 17, 2011 in Book Giveaway, Mystery, Writing


The Darkness by Bill Kirton

I enjoyed this book on so many levels–not only was it an enjoyable read, it was thought-provoking.

Murder … vigilante retribution … and pondering what it is, precisely, that separates us from people who act on their baser instincts. Maybe it’s simply that we haven’t experienced, up close and personal, the consequences of evil. Then again, maybe it’s something else…

The Darkness, by Bill Kirton, contains a whole lot more grey than it does black and white–which is a very good thing if you want to provoke some thoughts.

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Posted by on August 14, 2011 in Crime, Mystery, Writing


And the winner IS…

Renee G. of Valleyford, WA!


Congratulations, Renee! I’ve forwarded your address along to St. Martin’s Press and they’ll be sending you your copy of Portrait of a Monster. Be sure to visit us again after you’ve read the book to share your thoughts.

For more info about this terrific book, click on the book cover (or here).


Posted by on August 11, 2011 in Book Giveaway, Crime, Mystery


How do YOU do it? Book Giveaway

I’m wondering how YOU do certain things in the business world. How have YOU achieved success in certain areas and how have YOU overcome certain challenges?

To enter the contest for a free copy of Taking the Mystery Out of Business: 9 Fundamentals for Professional Successvisit here.


New Release: When Beowulf Meets Kyla


Kyla has an ancient Viking warrior for a boyfriend. The two lovers are thrust through time to battle the unthinkable, but only their burning love keeps them together.  The witch, the troll, and the dragon appear as obstacles, but Kyla will stop at nothing because her wish must come true.

Be careful what you wish for…

When Beowulf Meets Kylaby D. L. Narrol, Double Dragon Publishing,

“While trying to play God – all else fails!”

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Posted by on August 4, 2011 in Writing



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